26 Constituencies that risk being scrapped in new review

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IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission as warned that at least 26 constituencies that were protected in the last boundaries review risk being scrapped.

IEBC also warned that the anticipated BBI referendum might pose a big challenge to the boundaries delimitation exercise.

The Building Bridges Initiative seeks to amend the Constitution and has proposed the creation of 70 new constituencies and distributed them to select counties.

This is despite the IEBC stating that the BBI has no mandate to set boundaries, because only it can set boundaries.

IEBC, in its Boundaries Review plan unveiled on Wednesday, increased the population quota for a constituency from 133,000 to 164,015.

If this is effected then any constituency that does not meet the population quota will cease to exist after the commission concludes the boundaries review by March 2024.

The population quota is arrived at by dividing the national population of 47.5 million by 290 constituencies stipulated in the Constitution.

The constituencies that fail to meet the quota will be merged with others.

The constituencies are Tetu, Ndaragwa, Mukurweini, Othaya, Kangema, Bura, Galore, Isiolo South, Kilome, Laisamis, North Horr, Saku, Mbeere North, Lamu East and Lamu West.

Other constituencies that could lose their status are Mvita, Mwatate, Wundanyi, Voi, Mathioya, Samburu East, Marakwet East, Keiyo North, Mogotio, Vihiga, and Budalang’i.

The IEBC has also warned that some counties could have the number of their constituencies slashed or increased depending on the population density.

In the new formula, any county that falls below 82 persons per square kilometre will be considered sparsely populated.

Population density is arrived at dividing the county’s total national population with its size of 540.876.3 square kilometres.

The Constitution, however, provides for other parameters to be applied in addition to the population quota where necessary.

Other parameters that will govern the delimitation of constituencies and wards other than population will be geographical features and urban centres, community of interest, historical, economic and cultural ties and means of communication.

The 2019 National Population and Housing Census, published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, will be used in the review of constituencies and wards.

The Constitution provides for the review of the names and boundaries of constituencies and wards at intervals of not less than eight years and not more than 12 years.

The last review of boundaries was carried out in March 2012, therefore the next review must not be done later than 2024.

The law says if delimitation is carried out a year to the next general election, then the new units will only be applied in subsequent polls.


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