By: Emmanuel Utibe
On Monday the 30th of May, 2023, the great Kantanga republic was rat1tled by the screening results that were released by the Kantanga Republic Independent Electoral Commission (KRIEC)- the body saddled by the hall’s constitution with organizing and conducting elections in the hall.
Ordinarily, screening results hardly cause stirs, but this was different because unexpectedly to many persons, the two aspirants for the position of House Secetratry, HON Ejere Emmanuel and Mr. Oyewole Taofeek Mobolaji, and the sole aspirant for the position of Administrator General – HON Ogungbure Oluwalonimi had been disqualified from the electoral contest.
Since then, there have been a lot of activities happening behind the scenes. Less than 24 hours after the results were released, the KRIEC then announced that they would be reopening the sales of forms for the vacant offices.
However, on Tuesday, after a meeting between the AG, some aspirants, members of the KRIEC, and the Hall Warden, there were some shenanigans. The Administrator General (AG) Wemmy and former Secretary of State made attempts to coerce the KRIEC members into letting the disqualified AG aspirant Lonimi run and this caused some confrontations in the hall.
Given that the constitution is the highest binding legal document that governs the activities in the hall and being that the student administration of the hall finds its basis in the constitution, Indy Press would be using several constitution provisions to look at the issues surrounding the happenings, particular some questions that are being raised.
What is KRIEC?
For some Katangites – freshers especially, the KRIEC would obviously be one of the various bodies that they know little about.
There shall be an Independent Electoral Commission to be Known as KIREC, to be constituted by the Hall Assembly – Article XIII, Section I(a).
According to the constitution, KRIEC is a commission instituted and charged with the responsibility of conducting elections from time to time. It is to consist of Four members of the Hall Assembly, three members from the hall selected by a voting process during a congress, and a last member from the Indy Hall Press to make a total of 8 members. All the members are expected to be non-partisan and over the years have always been persons of high loci within the structure of things. This provision can be seen in Article XIII, Section 1 of the Independence Hall Constitution 2006.
Can KRIEC Disqualify A Candidate?
This question has flown around since the results were released, even among persons deeply involved in the political happenings of Katanga Republic.
Some persons have even said in various groups that everybody has a right to vote and be voted for, how much more people who have spent money to campaign and even bought forms?
Firstly, even at the international level down to a local level, the right to be voted is one right that is heavily conditional, as almost all constitutions after establishing the right to be voted for go on to delineate office-specific qualifications that must be met before anybody gets qualified to be vote into government on that office.
Shall screen all aspirants and have the powers to clear or reject the candidature of any aspirants subject to the provisions of this constitution. – Article XIII, Section II(c).
In Article XIII, Section II of the hall constitution, where the powers of KIREC were talked about, aside from drawing up election guidelines and publishing those guidelines at least 5 working days before an election, the constitution also saddles KIREC with the power of being to clear or reject any aspirant running for an office.
This can be done answerable only to the provisions of the constitution for the said office, not to the sentiments and cries of distrusted supporters. The KRIEC is an independent body, as such, they are not answerable to any Independence Hall executives.