Heading into final stretch as IEBC receives presidential ballot papers

IEBC Vice-chair Juliana Cherera speaks at the JKIA after receiving the consignment of 225 ballot paper pellets. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

It is all systems go. The presidential ballot papers have been flown in the country, the electoral agency has published the party nomination list and the major formations are warming up to the final dash.

Yesterday, the arrival 12,150 boxes containing the presidential ballot papers sealed the fate of gospel singer Reuben Kigame whose hopes of contesting the presidency have been dashed.

With only 11 days to the General Election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has also released the final parties’ nomination lists for Senate, National Assembly and Members of County Assembly seats.

The IEBC has received a consignment of 65.2 million ballot papers of the 132 million to be used in the August 9 General Election. More ballot papers are expected this and early next week.

IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera said Inform Lykos (Hellas) SA Company that had been contracted to print the ballot papers intended to deliver the last batch tomorrow, but it is not possible due to pending court cases.

Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, yesterday when she led the electoral commission officials in receiving the 12,150 boxes of presidential ballot papers, Ms Cherera said they have a deadline of August 3 for all ballot papers to be here.

“Today’s consignment of 225 ballot paper pellets is the first for the presidential ballots. The second batch of 300 pallets of presidential ballot will arrive on Friday while the final batch is expected on August 3,” she said.

She led a team to Greece a week ago to monitor progress of printing the presidential ballot papers to ensure they were of high quality and were taken through a detailed profile of Inform Lykos (Hellas) SA Company and its products.

Ms Cherera said the team learnt that besides printing ballot papers, the company was also involved in printing bank credit cards, visa credit cards, issuing pin numbers for bank cards, drug authentication labels, excise stamps, smart ticketing, lottery coupons, graduation certificates, bills and statements.

The team to Greece included representatives from Azimio la Umoja One Kenya, Kenya Kwanza Alliance, Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, Media Council of Kenya, Kenya Union of Journalists, Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Election Observation Group, Kenya Editors Guild and civil society.

“The Monitoring Delegation inspected security features imprinted on the ballot papers and witnessed printing of ballot papers into booklets, boxes, pallets and then labelling ready for shipment, they also verified the security features on the statutory documents printed and will accompany the ballots to the polling stations,” said Cherera.

Ms Cherera, however, declined to comment on the controversy surrounding three Venezuelans arrested at JKIA in possession of election materials, saying she has been out of the country for a while.