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IEBC, Jubilee answer NASA on poll tallying

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati PHOTO:COURTESY

Political temperatures continued to rise after the ruling Jubilee Party alleged that threats by the National Super Alliance (NASA) to boycott the August 8 polls could end up triggering electoral violence.

A number of Jubilee leaders alleged that the Opposition's warning that it would not take part in the elections if the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court decision that final presidential results should be announced at the constituency level was part of a plan to set the country on the path to anarchy.

Led by Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), they termed the statements made at a political rally in Nakuru "intimidation of independent institutions and designed to polarise the country and to whip up violent impulses".

"Raila Odinga and NASA have embarked on an unlawful, contemptuous, dangerous confrontation with IEBC over a matter that is before the courts. Every time the Opposition feels the heat is too much, it resorts to intimidation and violence. The same NASA forced us to replace IEBC commissioners. As Jubilee, we acceded because we wanted to avoid loss of lives. The same NASA is now intimidating IEBC and the Judiciary," said Prof Kindiki.

"NASA's disregard for critical pillars of our democracy and their violent rhetoric exhibits a recklessness that is worrying. We therefore condemn Odinga's careless statements and NASA's evil agenda," he added.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) also expressed similar sentiments.

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"We in Jubilee will continue working towards a peaceful election. NASA is trying everything possible to intimidate Kenyans so that independent institutions such as IEBC can give in to their demands. They want to create a narrative that the election is going to be stolen and that they will garner 10 million votes. If this does not happen then they will set this country on fire.

"When the courts said that the final results should be announced at the constituency level, Jubilee never challenged, but the issue is now becoming the basis of the whole discussion. It is a life and death situation for NASA," said Mr Murkomen.

The appeal, filed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), seeks a declaration that only the chair of the commission can announce the final presidential tally.

Others at the press conference were Johnson Sakaja (nominated), Senator Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu) and Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town).

On Sunday, Raila led other NASA principals - Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula - in declaring that they would not participate in the elections should the High Court declaration be voided, and accused Jubilee and IEBC of plotting to rig the August polls.

The Jubilee rejoinder came as IEBC dismissed the NASA threats, saying anyone with issues regarding elections "should seek to be enjoined in the case".

"We urge any players that may have an issue with our appeal to ask the courts to be enjoined in the case or, alternatively, await the completion of the case and seek a judicial interpretation, if need be'" read a statement signed by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

"The commission is committed to delivering a free, fair and credible election that is anchored in the law and governed by our Constitution and election regulation. Our going to court is part of this commitment."

The leaders warned that the country could descend into post-election violence similar to what happened in 2007.

"This country is governed by the rule of law. Setting the country on a path of anxiety and tension 90 days to the election is dangerous.

We have walked this path before and if anyone thinks we are going to walk the same path, they are mistaken. These institutions were given the mandate to do their work. If you wanted to be a commissioner, you should have applied," said Mr Sakaja. 

 

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