Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Independence Of The IEC Is At Stake


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Political figures are busy raising doubts because the IEC has failed to carry out registration of voters. Even though the IEC has raised its concerns before the major oversight institution and law-making body of the land the public are being given different views by political figures, who appear to have been misled to believe that National interest is being preserved through the method of awarding contracts rather than focusing on the efficient delivery of credible elections.

 The Constitution is very clear. Section 43 Subsection

3 states:

“ In the exercise of its functions under this Constitution or any other law, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.”

This is concise and precise and is not subject to any ambiguity. The IEC should go straight to the court for a declaration if the executive subjects it to any restrictions and conditionality.

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This is the beauty of the separation of powers. The National Assembly is entitled to raise questions but the courts have power to give orders.

The Constitution did not want the executive to strangulate the IEC through financial bottlenecks. This is why Section 44 reads:

“The Independent Electoral Commission shall submit its annual estimates of expenditure to the President for presentation to the National Assembly in accordance with this Constitution. The President shall cause the estimates to be placed before the National Assembly without amendment, but may attach to them his or her own comments and observations.”

Now that the IEC has its allocations, no one should play with the Independence of the Institution by interfering with the way it should execute its budget.

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