Their resignations come after a Parliamentary investigation recommended their removal from office, over alleged gross violations of the constitution during the August presidential elections.
The two are among the four IEBC commissioners who had refused to endorse Ruto’s win. The other two, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi, have not indicated if they will also resign.
But for the time being, they remain out of office as they await further investigations by the tribunal.
In her resignation letter to President Ruto, Cherera said her actions during the last elections were done in good faith but have been misjudged and misinterpreted, leading to the decision to leave the electoral agency.
My cumulative actions at IEBC done in good faith are unfortunately misjudged and misinterpreted- Outgoing IEBC vice chairperson Juliana Cherera pic.twitter.com/8Hon6r8RKuDecember 5, 2022
“I accept that my stay at the commission is no longer tenable and therefore I choose to vacate,” she wrote in her letter.
The same sentiments were echoed by Commissioner Nyang’aya last Friday in his resignation letter: “ I endeavoured to act in the best interest of the country, although my actions, taken in good faith have been misconstrued”.
He also indicated that he had decided to leave the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, a decision he said was in the best interest of the country.
What happens now?
Now that both Cherera and Nyang’aya have resigned, the tribunal cannot question them since they are no longer in office.
Political analyst and professor Macharia Munene says the pressure was too much for the two commissioners and they had to leave before the tribunal began its work.
I accept that my stay at the commission is no longer tenable and therefore I choose to vacate.
“These commissioners knew their fate had been decided, so they had to quit,” says Munene.
Assuming the remaining two do not resign, they will be questioned by the tribunal. The tribunal will then have 30 days to give recommendations on whether they may stay or leave the commission.
Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition coalition Azimio la Umoja who contested August’s presidential polls, is calling for political meetings on Wednesday 7 December in Nairobi to consult supporters and show his coalition’s displeasure over current events at the IEBC.
Raila believes the IEBC officials are being harassed by Ruto’s government for refusing to recognise the final results that he believes did not reflect the will of the people.
He further alleges that Ruto is scheming to remove the four commissioners who stood for justice to rig the next elections in 2027.
“They want to appoint their own members of the commission to carry out their rigging in 2027,” said Martha Karua, who was Raila’s running mate during the August polls.
“Kenya Kwanza wants to change election laws so as to form a William Ruto Electoral Commission,” she said.
MARTHA KARUA: "Kenya Kwanza want to change election laws so as to form a William Ruto Electoral Commission" pic.twitter.com/LBIuEnOYNA— tv47 (@nftaIienfrens) December 5, 2022
Ruto hits back
President Ruto, who accuses the four commissioners of going rogue, believes they must be held accountable. He has also accused Raila of plotting to destabilise the development agenda of his Kenya Kwanza coalition through nationwide rallies.
Ruto says he is used to Raila’s political meetings and protests and has promised that his government will provide security for the opposition politicians and their supporters.
“They can demonstrate every day, once a week, every month and even years, we shall provide them with security,” Ruto said.
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