Doubts were yesterday raised about the electoral commission’s impartiality ahead of next year’s General Election following claims of vote-rigging in the Kericho Senate by-election.
Former ruling party Kanu claimed its candidate, Paul Sang, had won the March 7 poll by garnering over 120,000 votes, but alleges the ruling coalition conspired with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to manipulate the results transmission system.
Kanu leaders alleged the Jubilee Alliance Party's (JAP) Aaron Cheruiyot won the election by a predetermined margin aided by a geometric progression formula that multiplied his tally by a ratio of 1.5.
Led by party chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, the leaders claimed the final result that showed Cheruiyot had won by 109,358 to Sang's 56,307 was doctored.
According to Kanu, Sang garnered 126,193 votes against Cheruiyot's 38,162, but was denied victory through manipulation of the results transmission system to ensure the JAP candidate's tally was almost double his rival's.
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The party provided statistics it claimed were proof of the election fraud, which employed a geometric progression formula that multiplied every vote cast for the JAP candidate by a ratio of 1.5.
Kanu claimed the poll was rigged to please a senior government personality, interpreted as referring to Deputy President William Ruto, who camped in the region to deliver the seat for JAP. "The formula was used by JAP to generate data through a computer programme so that at any given time during the tallying exercise, the JAP candidate's votes were constantly double those of the KANU candidate.The formula was to give the JAP candidate advantage," the party said in a statement read by the Party Secretary General Nick Salat.
"We as Kanu and our campaign team declare that the Kericho by-election was rigged and IEBC was totally compromised and complacent to save face for some senior politician in the region," said the party.
Gideon termed the elections a farce and said that they were not a true reflection of the people's will. He said Kanu would organise rallies to thank the people of Kericho for supporting the party and said it would field candidates countrywide in the next elections.
"What happened was a total farce and a mockery of the democratic process. The IEBC was completely compromised and what emerged were not the true wishes of the people of Kericho," said Gideon.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba did not respond to our inquiries yesterday. But last Tuesday, a day after the declaration of the results, Mr Chiloba had dismissed the allegations.
"Results were not declared on the basis of a results transmission and presentation system but as counted at polling stations and tallied at constituency and county tallying centres," Chiloba said.
The allegations pile pressure on IEBC to demonstrate its credibility, especially after the governing coalition also alleged Malindi constituency by-election, which was won by ODM, was also rigged in the Opposition's favour.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has warned that Jubilee would also press for the reconstitution of IEBC because it was disappointed with the conduct of the Malindi parliamentary by-election. The Opposition has also accused the State of scheming to use security forces and administrators to rig the forthcoming General Election.
Yesterday, the Kanu chairman said: "I want to tell the people of Kericho that we have a programme coming up in the next 10 days where we will hold rallies to thank the people and to tell them that despite what happened, we are still with them. "We are now emboldened and are going to prepare ourselves for the 2017 elections. Kanu will field candidates in the Rift Valley and in every single sector."
The party said the results announced were from a command centre outside of Kericho and that forms given to polling agents at polling stations had been pre-filled. It, however, said it would not contest the election in court as it had no faith in the country's judicial system.
"Kericho has two senators, one a numeric-system-generated senator in the name of Cheruiyot and the people's senator, Sang," Kanu declared.
"IEBC was hostile to us right from the day we were having our last rally.We are going back to the people to tell them that these people stole your votes but not your hearts," said Sang.
Kanu's statement is an indication that the dust is yet to settle and that the party is keen to use the momentum to cut down the DP's influence in the region.