In publishing the list of 290 parliamentary seats to be contested in the March 4 General Election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission also beat threats by MPs to delay the creation of the 80 new constituencies.
However, some MPs are accusing the commission of publishing the list prematurely as they plan a move in Parliament to have the 2013 elections held under the old 210 constituencies.
The list will also provide a guideline to presidential candidates who must get at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in at least half of the 47 counties.
In terms of counties, Nairobi leads with 17 seats, Kiambu and Kakamega come second with 12 seats each, Nakuru (11), Kisii (10), Meru (9), Bungoma (9), as Kitui, Machakos, Homa Bay and Migori each post eight constituencies.
Kilifi county tops Coast region with seven parliamentary seats with Mombasa taking six. Isiolo and Lamu have the fewest constituencies — two each.
The commission also executed the orders of the High Court, merging and shifting wards to bring the number of county assembly seats to 1,450.
Some constituencies have been renamed among them, Gwasi which will now be known as Suba, Kisumu Rural will now become Seme, Eldoret North has been renamed Turbo while Dujis is now Garissa Township.
Publication of the list means voters can now identify their electoral areas and decide where they want to be registered to vote.
Voters will only vote at the centres where they were registered. The new seats have already gone through all the steps, including gazettement and exhaustion of legal challenges.
However, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo argued that publication of the list was premature because MPs were still trying to find a solution to the gender quota stalemate.
“Those constituencies are irrelevant in this election. Unless they want to force it on us. We were working on something that would have made it easier for us to resolve the gender puzzle while saving the taxpayer millions of shillings.
“Now that they are moving to gazette them. Things may just get stuck,” Mr Midiwo told the Nation on phone.
Kasipul Kabondo MP Oyugi Magwanga, whose constituency has been split into two, argued that the decision should have been suspended to avoid more crises over the gender composition after the General Election.
“It would have been easier to resolve the gender composition with 210 constituencies as per a new formula which we have been working on. With 290 constituencies, someone must now perform a miracle for us to meet the constitutional requirement,” Mr Magwanga said.
On Tuesday, Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee chairman Abdikadir Mohamed said the electoral commission can set up new polling stations in the fresh electoral areas.
“They were gazetted and people who had their own misgivings went to court where the judges directed merging of wards and change of names. They are as good as legal,” the MP said.
Source: Nation Media