Raila Odinga, leader of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party, now says that President William Ruto’s decision to suspend the four IEBC commissioners is part of a scheme to rig the 2027 General Election.
The Kenya Kwanza government, according to Odinga, aims to evict the four commissioners, Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit, and Justus Nyang’aya, with the long-term goal of dominating the commission to their advantage in the 2027 elections.
“As expected, the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has proposed the institution of a tribunal to remove the four IEBC commissioners,” Odinga stated.
“We have stated it before, and we will say it again, the commissioners’ troubles are not about the 2022 elections,” he continued. This is about the elections in 2027. Mr. Ruto desires to rig the 2027 elections in 2022.”
Odinga was speaking in Nairobi during a meeting with Azimio allies.
While criticizing the request to suspend the commissioners, the former premier went on to claim that President Ruto’s administration wants to have sole control over appointing their favorite commissioners in order to affect the outcome of the 2027 election.
“That is why, despite being indicted by the Supreme Court, Wafula Chebukati is not facing JLAC.” The four are being forced out because William Ruto and the UDA government want a clean slate at the IEBC to fill with his stooges and henchman for the 2027 elections, according to Odinga.
He went on to highlight the late President Mwai Kibaki’s reign in 2007, during which Kibaki alone chose election officials, resulting in post-election violence that killed over 1300 Kenyans.
“Our concern and dread as the Azimio Party is that we have been here before.” We were here in 2007, when the Kibaki administration appointed IEBC officials on its own. We objected. ‘We were called names,’ he said.
“As happened previously, the UDA is altering the laws regulating the appointment of IEBC commissioners to give the administration complete discretion to stack the commission with its henchman,” Odinga continued.
The thoughts of the ODM party leader follow the president’s instruction on Friday to suspend the four commissioners and form a tribunal to consider a petition for their removal.
President Ruto stated that the decision was made in response to a recommendation by the National Assembly to remove the commissioners for their actions during the August 9th, 2022 General Election.
“Having received and studied the National Assembly’s appeal… “I, William Samoei Ruto, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, hereby direct that Juliana Whonge Cherera, Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Cherop Masit, and Justus Abonyo Nyang’aya, members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, be and are hereby suspended from office with immediate effect,” a section of the Gazette notice read.