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CORD defends itself on 'fake' signatures

By Rawlings Otieno | March 28th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

CORD has accused the electoral commission of failing to publicise the register they used to verify the Okoa Kenya signatures.

CORD said the few bad signatures found in the booklets were a small number that could not affect the one million signatures threshold. Coalition Chief Executive Norman Magaya said there was no way a collection of 1.7 million signatures from all over the country can lack a few jokers, adding that it could not affect the integrity of the whole collection.

"Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has not disclosed to anyone what register they used to verify the Okoa Kenya signatures. During the Supreme Court petition in 2013, the commission had a set of five different registers which were ignominiously endorsed by the Supreme Court," Mr Magaya said.

He said IEBC should not be allowed to have the luxury to use five registers when it wishes to keep moving registered voters targets and conservatively restrict itself to a single unknown register when faced with the Okoa Kenya signature verification exercise.

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The mandate of the commission on a popular referendum initiative is set out under article 257(4) of the Constitution and commission is only enjoined to verify that the initiative is supported by at least one million registered voters.

Magaya, who is also the Head of CORD Secretariat, said the cavalier manner in which IEBC was treating the Okoa Kenya initiative confirms that Kenyans should not go into another election with IEBC as is currently constituted.

"The commission has no power, real or imagined to verify the authenticity of the signatures as do to so would be ultra vies. It is a clear manifestation that IEBC is a joke of a commission that does not comprehend the enormity of the constitutional responsibility bestowed on it," said Magaya.

Magaya claimed that the week preceding the announcement by IEBC that the initiative had been thrown out, some of its commissioners called the leadership of Okoa Kenya to communicate that the initiative had met the threshold and they were in the process of preparing the transmission to county assemblies.

CORD Okoa Kenya signatures Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission
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