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Leaders warn electoral body against repeating errors

COUNTIES
By By KENAN MIRUKA | November 21st 2013

By KENAN MIRUKA

Kisii,Kenya: Candidates for the Nyaribari Chache and Bomachoge Borabu by-elections have called on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to eliminate errors that occasioned the repeat polls.

The candidates, among them immediate former MPs Joel Onyancha and Chris Bichage, want the IEBC to ensure the polls are run efficiently.

The two seats fell vacant following successful petitions filed by poll losers who cited massive irregularities. Kisii High Court judge Edward Muriithi annulled the two wins on grounds that electoral laws were flouted.

Justice Muriithi ordered IEBC to foot the costs of the two petitions because it had committed errors.

In Bomachoge Borabu, for instance, a presiding officer filled Form 35 at the tallying centre while the law prescribes that it should be filled at the polling station.

 “It is my belief that I won the last election fairly but the court invalidated this due to simple mistakes committed by poll officials under the supervision of returning officers. I don’t want to suffer a similar fate,” said Bichage, the ODM candidate for Nyaribari Chache.

Similar sentiments were voiced by Onyancha who has now lost his parliamentary seat twice due to errors committed by IEBC.

While briefing the candidates, Bomachoge Borabu returning officer Gilbert Serem said the poll body would submit a list of presiding officers to the political parties for transparency. He assured candidates that they were committed to delivering a credible poll.

Ten candidates have expressed interest in the Nyaribari Chache seat and they will present their nomination papers to IEBC for clearance today and tomorrow.

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