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Please don’t stop ballot paper tender, House committee warns courts

By Moses Nyamori | Published Tue, June 13th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 12th 2017 at 22:01 GMT +3


Kisumu West Mp Olago Aluoch. PIC BY COLLINS ODUOR

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has warned that there might be no August 8 General Election.

Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba yesterday told the Parliamentary Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that the election date might become untenable should the courts make any further orders setting aside the controversial ballot paper tender.

The electoral commission pleaded with the courts not to grant further orders against the awarding of the controversial tender, warning that this could scuttle the August 8 General Election.

“There is always that risk that major tenders may attract a court challenge. If someone went to court today and the tender is put aside, the question we should be asking ourselves is whether we would have the August elections,” said Mr Chiloba.

In response, the committee chaired by Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch said the Judiciary should be reminded of some of the risks it could plunge the country into should it make orders nullifying the tender again.

“We are not giving the Judiciary directions on how to do its work but we are telling them that they must be conscious of the election timelines,” said Mr Aluoch.

Last week, IEBC awarded the tender for printing ballots worth Sh2.5 billion to Dubai firm Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC. The tender has been at the centre of protracted legal battles that resulted in the commission missing the May 28 deadline for delivery of poll materials.

The committee also recommended the approval of a Sh2.5 billion supplementary budget for the printing of ballot papers.

The committee yesterday asked the National Assembly to approve the commission’s request to transfer the 2017-2018 budget on ballot papers to the current financial year.