The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection panel has shortlisted five candidates for the CEO position.
The Commission, in a public notice on Monday, said a total of 511 Kenyans applied for the job.
The shortlisted candidates are Acting CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan, Electoral and Governance Expert Zephania Aura, IEBC Mombasa County Election Manager Nancy Kariuki, George Michugu, and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Director Joel Mabonga.
The five are scheduled to appear before the commission for interviews on Tuesday next week.
The position of CEO has been vacant since the exit of Ezra Chiloba in October 2018.
IEBC was in October 2020 sent to the drawing board after a court declared a process to recruit Chiloba’s replacement defective following a petition filed by Chama Cha Mawakili.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court stopped the Commission from interviewing 10 candidates, who had been shortlisted, on grounds that the process was unconstitutional and marred by conflict of interest.
The agency was directed to start the recruitment afresh.
“In conclusion, judgment is hereby entered for the petitioner (Chama Cha Mawakili) against the respondent (IEBC) for a declaration that the recruitment process of the secretary to the commission or CEO be commenced afresh by IEBC and in strict compliance with applicable law,” ruled Justice Byram Ongaya.
Chiloba was sacked from IEBC after serving a three-month compulsory leave from April 2018, which was turned into a suspension on June 14, 2018.
His sacking followed a flawed 2017 election that saw the presidential results annulled by the Supreme Court.
Chiloba now heads the Communications Authority of Kenya, an appointment made in September last year.
There have been calls from several quarters for expedited recruitment of the CEO as the country heads to a General Election in August.
In September last year, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said the lack of a substantive CEO at the electoral body could lower the confidence of key stakeholders in the agency’s ability to conduct credible polls.
“The process of hiring a new CEO must also kick-off to ensure no room is left for doubting the competency and integrity of IEBC,” said KCCB.