Headache for IEBC as four counties unpolled
By Moses Nyamori | October 30th 2017
Verification of presidential results was still ongoing last night.
In his first update that was done at 7pm, IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati urged for patience as his team continued to verify the result forms from the 266 constituencies where the election was conducted.
Mr Chebukati said the presidential result will be declared based on verified forms 34As and 34Bs being delivered at Bomas of Kenya physically by returning officers.
As at 4pm, the commission said it had received results from 259 constituencies, meaning only seven were still pending.
“We urge for patience as a comprehensive report is finalised to include reports from all stations that opened and polling took place in respect of the fresh presidential election,” said Chebukati.
Chebukati further confirmed the commission was consulting on whether to set date for repeat election in 25 constituencies in Nyanza where election did not take place.
“Commission is dealing with the issue and will give response at 8.30pm (last night),” said Chebukati.
“Ongoing verification of result forms is a crucial process being done thoroughly and results will be declared based on the forms,” he added.
He responded to question of voter turnout that has stirred a controversy following his tweet that suggested the turnout was at 48 per cent but which he later revised to 33 per cent.
He explained that a total of 7.57 million voters had been identified through the Kenya Integrated Elections System (KIEMS) representing 42.8 per cent turnout.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was weighing the legal impact that failing to hold the poll in those constituencies would have on the final declaration of the outcome.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was leading with 7.3 million votes.
Based on this explanation, it means close to eight million out of the 19.6 million registered voters participated in the repeat election.
Chebukati explained that his initial tweet that talked of 48 per cent turnout was based on 17,568 KIEMS kits that had transmitted their returns between 4pm and 5pm on Thursday.
“A total of 4,457 458 registered voters were identified by the 17,568 KIEMS kits. A total of 9,200,411 voters are duly registered in the 17,568 polling stations which had transmitted returns between 4pm and 5pm on October 26. This translated to a voter turnout of 48 per cent,” he said.
There were areas that were affected by weather and other factors that lead to the exercise being extended to the following day.
The agency had put off voting in the four areas on polling day, October 26, and postponed it again on October 28 due to chaos and threats to electoral officials.
The hurdle is further compounded by the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams as candidates begin rehearsals.
The three-day examination starts tomorrow and will be conducted in primary schools that serve as polling stations.
The poll body is running out of time, given that the seven-day constitutional timeline within which the commission is expected to declare the results lapses on Wednesday.
An IEBC official confidentially told The Standard that the commission was consulting widely on the matter and should it decide to ignore the counties that did not go to the ballot, it would today declare President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner.
“We expect the verification process to end today around 8pm. The commissioners will thereafter have a meeting to decide on the way forward for the election in the four counties.
“It is a tricky affair because the Constitution requires we conduct elections in all the constituencies,” said the officer, who is a member of the project team picked by Mr Chebukati to oversee the repeat process.
At Bomas of Kenya, there was scanty information over the pending election and the turnout as the commissioners stayed away from the press.
The poll officials only came out to the auditorium to read results for various constituencies but quickly retreated to their offices.
They provided information on the general progress of the exercise that was at its tail end by last evening.
Should IEBC choose to have the election in the counties, it would do this tomorrow, just a day to the expiry of the seven-day deadline under which the results must be declared.
“Within seven days after the presidential election, the chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall declare the result of the election and deliver a written notification of the result to the Chief Justice and the incumbent president,” reads article 138 (10) of the Constitution.
“If two or more candidates for president are nominated, an election shall be held in each constituency,” reads Article 138 (2).
By the time of going to press, Uhuru was leading with 7.3 million votes (98 per cent) in the contest that was boycotted by his strongest opponent, Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA).
Ekuru Aukot (Thirdway Alliance) was third with 19,982 votes, Abduba Dida (Alliance for real Change) had 12,684, Independent candidates Joseph Kaluyu 7,850, Michael Wainanaina 5,859, Joseph Nyaga 5,316, and Cyrus Jirongo managing 3,672.
Results from 244 constituencies had been verified by the commission by last evening, with 256 forms 34Bs delivered to the national tallying centre.
The Constitution requires that a presidential election be conducted in the 290 constituencies spread across the country.
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