President Uhuru Kenyatta has forwarded the names of nine candidates to sit on Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to the selection panel.

The nominees include two men and two women nominated by the Parliamentary Service Commission — Evans Monari, Mary Karen Kigen, retired JusticeTom Mbaluto and Ogla Chepkemoi Karani — and the nominee of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bernadette W. Musundi.

Two other nominees are candidates nominated by the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Reverend Peter Karanja Mwangi, and by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the National Muslim Leaders Forum and the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Professor Abdulghafur H.S. El-Busaidy.

The other candidates are nominated by the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Bishop David Oginde, and Rajesh Rawal, who is nominated by the Hindu Council of Kenya.

President Kenyatta has encouraged all qualified Kenyans to respond to the call to serve the nation by applying for the position of Chairperson of the IEBC, as well as the position of Commissioner of the IEBC.

He also urged the public to participate in the pivotal exercise of selecting new Commissioners by voicing their views on the candidates who will be shortlisted by the IEBC Selection Panel.

President Kenyatta received the resignation letters of former members of the IEBC on Oct 4, paving the way to declare vacant the office of the IEBC Chairperson, and the respective posts of the Commissioners.

The outgoing commissioners will, however, remain in office until the new team is sworn in so as to oversee implementation of policies and to ensure that there is no vacuum as the country counts down to the elections.

The IEBC chair, says their extended stay in office will not jeopardize preparations for a free and fair 2017 election, adding that they are determined to ensure a smooth transition.