Raila Odinga, William Ruto seal fate of disputed form 34A

The commission convened the meeting after Azimio presidential candidate Raila, through his chief legal adviser Paul Mwangi, raised issues regarding the statutory results declaration forms.

The intense four hours of discussion pushed the Azimio team to almost agreeing on the two forms but Kenya Kwanza leaders could hear none of it.

Even though they were the first to raise the concerns, Raila's team was about to buckle and agree with IEBC on the use of both sets. Led by Makau Mutua, the Azimio team had argued that they were at peace with both sets being as long as there would be no problem with the law in case of a challenge to the results.

"We are satisfied with the explanation as you have provided. We are with you as long as the We are covered by the law," Prof Mutua said.

However, Josphat Nanok of Ruto's presidential campaign secretariat rejected that decision and insisted Kenya is uncomfortable with the use of the second booklet.

"We retain our objection to the use of the second booklet," he told the meeting in which the media was locked out.

He then called for a timeout, telling the meeting they could only commit after consulting their principal.

A 10-minute adjournment was called in which besides each side consulting their bosses, they got a chance to engage each other.

Police officers verify the first batch of presidential ballot papers at the JKIA. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Forms 34A are the primary presidential result declaration forms. Each of the booklets has six copies of carbonated (carbon copy) forms on which presidential results will be recorded by the presiding officer in the presence of agents of the presidential candidates.

At yesterday's meeting, the representatives of the presidential candidates raised issues concerning the deployment of the forms, expressing concerns that the six copies are not enough to satisfy legal requirements and could make them amenable to legal challenge.

Under the agreement, the original copy of 34A is to be transmitted to the national tallying centre for use by the IEBC chairman (Chebukati) in his capacity as presidential election returning officer. Agents of the presidential candidates are entitled to a copy each, which brings the total to four. The final copy will be slotted in the ballot boxes and sealed.

The meeting resolved to allow the presiding officer to get a photocopy of the original that will be pinned on the door of the polling station.

To ensure that resolution earns the force of law, the meeting resolved that all the decisions agreed on yesterday be published through a notice in the Kenya Gazette by the commission to insulate them from possible legal challenges by any of the parties.