Wafula Chebukati: Media, political parties free to tally election results but...

Ballot boxes ready for distribution in the 2017 General Election. [File, Standard]

Political parties and media houses are free to set up parallel tallying centres for the August 9 elections, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said yesterday in a clear departure from the past.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman said even individual candidates would be allowed to tally their results. But he said it was IEBC only that has the power to declare winners.

“The media houses, political parties and candidates are free to have their own parallel tally of the results but that will only help you do the reporting not to declare winners,” said Chebukati.

Speaking yesterday in Diani, Kwale County after a two-day workshop attended by top editors and IEBC commissioners, Chebukati warned that nobody would be allowed to declare the results.

He said the media can report the correct results as announced by the presiding officers and constituency returning officers but the commission retains the right to declare the winner.

Meanwhile, Chebukati also appeared to slam the door for former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s quest to run for Mombasa governor seat after he declared that impeached governors will not be cleared.

He said despite Thursday court’s decision that Sonko’s fate lies with the IEBC, the commission will not review cases it has already made a determination on.

“The commission will not revisit the decisions which have already been made. After all, those seeking clearance are already time-barred,” said Chebukati.

He said Parliament should pass a law to stipulate the period impeached state officers should be barred from holding public office. The IEBC chair proposed a 10-year period.

“In Kenya, there is a lacuna regarding how long impeached state officers should remain barred. In other countries, it is ten years. We should have a law,” said Chebukati

Chebukati said although he had not read a judgment that referred the case to the commission because the court have no jurisdiction he was not going to preside over Sonko’s case along with others because they were time-barred.

On Friday, a three-judge bench ruled the court had no jurisdiction to hear the suit which Sonko and others had gone to court to be allowed to participate in various seats in the country.