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IEBC will deliver credible election, declares Chebukati amid fall-out

By Roselyne Obala | September 9th 2017
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has embarked on preparations for the October 17 presidential elections despite bickering within commission.

In a statement sent to newsrooms Friday, Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the commission has the capacity to conduct credible presidential polls following the Supreme Court ruling that annulled the August 8 elections.

Mr Chebukati said the commission is confident that the period to the gazetted date will allow them finalise key technical preparations for the election.

He said IEBC plans to hire 40,883 presiding officers, 40,883 deputy presiding officers, 135,038 poll clerks, 580 ICT support staff and 290 constituency logistics assistants.

"The officers shall be drawn from our existing database of applicants, excluding those that may have committed irregularities during the August 8 elections," said Chebukati even as the fate of the new team he named to take over from embattled directors remains unresolved.

The IEBC chairman said they have already made key milestones leading to the election.

"They include a revised elections results framework, certification of the register of voters, upgraded technology for election, recruitment, training and deployment, voter education and election day operations, among others," he said.

A draft budget has been presented to the National Treasury. "We expect expeditious allocation of funds to allow for implementation of the key tasks ahead, especially those related to ICT and training," he said.

"To ensure all stakeholders, especially the voters, are informed and involved in all preparations for the elections, the commission plans to engage with them on a continuous basis," he said.

Chebukati promised to enhance transparency and accountability following the verdict of the Supreme Court that the August 8 polls did not meet constitutional threshold.

"Political parties did not deploy their agents and in some locations, there were none. Candidates must ensure their agents are well versed with technology and are urged to finalise the list of the agents for the polling stations, constituency tallying centres and the national tallying centre and submit the same to the respective offices before October 3," he said.

Chebukati also sought to clarify on the decision to have only President Kenyatta and NASA's Raila Odinga on the ballot.

"We are aware that concerns have been raised on the commission's interpretation of the legal position on the matter. Since the decision by the commission has been challenged in the Supreme Court, we hope the court will provide further guidance," he said a day after responding to Thirdway Alliance of Kenya on the matter.

In his reply to complaints lodged by Thirdway's Chairman Miruru Waweru, Chebukati said the decision was adopted in the plenary. He, however, pledged to comply with the court's ruling if it directs that the party's presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot be listed to run.

Chebukati argued that since it was only Raila who challenged Uhuru's win, it is right to confine the contest to the two.

"All the remaining candidates who did not contest the election of the president-elect will be assumed to have either conceded defeat, or acquiesced in the results declared by IEBC and such candidates may not participate in the fresh election," said Chebukati.

He continued: "We however understand that you have since lodged a petition in court seeking interpretation over this matter. We write to confirm that should the court be persuaded to direct that we include you as a candidate in the subject election, we are ready and willing to promptly effect such orders."

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