IEBC COMMISSIONERS MUST RESIGN FROM PUBLIC OFFICE
The Chairman of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr. Ahmed Issack Hassan must take full responsibility and held to account on high-level corruption in the electoral body.
After British Crown Court found the printing company Smith and Ousman directors guilty of paying immense bribes to IEBC high-level officials, it strips Mr. Hassan any iota of integrity and credibility to hold position of Chairman of the discredited IEBC. The reputation and integrity of IEBC and Commissioners has sunk so low. It fails to master integrity and leadership threshold of Chapter Six of the Constitution.
Elections are the indispensable root of healthy democracy. However, to be credible, we need to see high standards before, during and after votes are cast. When vast majority of electorate believes that elections have been free and fair, they can be a powerful catalyst for better governance, greater security and human development.
For elections to embody democracy, further development and promote security, they must be conducted with integrity. Where elections have integrity, the bedrock democratic principle of political equality is honoured.
As Election Management Body, credible IEBC has a very crucial role to play in the conduct of electoral processes and more importantly, to ensure electorate confidence in the system. A weak corrupt IEBC institution leads to environment where elections results are easily manipulated to favour the manipulator.
Free and fair elections that underpin political stability and social cohesion are closely linked with development. That is because the electoral system has profound consequences on the political and social life of the population of a country in terms of promoting political pluralism, promoting and protecting human rights, strengthening the rule of law, and improving governance.
A credible Electoral Commission is indeed indispensable organs of any democratic government and should be independent of the Government machinery. The quality and character of their leadership should also be vital for the success and credibility of the electoral system. IEBC does not meet this threshold.
Existence of effective, independent and untainted Commissioners who are fully committed to democratic government and to economic development are unmistakable indicators of the credibility of any electoral undertaking. Mr. Hassan and fellow Commissioners are not beyond reproach. They should vacate public office.
Elections are a major factor in the stabilization, democratization and societal progress of emerging constitutional democracy. They are a core part of the understanding and practice of democracy and democratic values. More importantly, they are considered as a defining and unavoidable element of all peace-building process. Democracy is not just the right to live. It is the right to live in dignity, peace and harmony.
Therefore, an impartial, competent, independent and professional electoral management body staffed by qualified personnel must have the responsibility for all phases of the election process covering the whole spectrum from the registration of voters to the proclamation of results after satisfying itself of the fairness and transparency of the entire process.
Electoral legitimacy is essential for the stability of democratic and constitutional government and for social and economic progress of the nation.