SECTIONS

Raila Odinga cleared by IEBC, lists 10 concerns

A screen grab of IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and ODM leader Raila Odinga (right). [KTN News]

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga has raised 10 issues with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that he wants addressed before the August polls.

Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya after he was cleared to contest for the presidential election, Odinga said IEBC needs to, among others, engage with stakeholders on the commission's election preparedness, reveal the status of the voters' register audit and provide an update on the deployment of election technology.

Odinga said he is committed to the polls and called on the Wafula Chebukati-led commission to live to its constitutional mandate so as to ensure that the general election is free and fair.

“We urge you to do exactly what the people of Kenya expect of you. We promise you that we are going to conduct ourselves as candidates, and also members of our movement, in a manner that conforms to the requirements of electoral laws and the constitution. We would like to see a free and fair electoral process,” said Odinga.   

In a rejoinder, Chebukati, the national returning officer for the presidential election, said the commission has answers to all the issues raised by Odinga and will tackle each after completing the candidates’ verification exercise.

He said the electoral agency will hold a stakeholder meeting with all presidential aspirants, who he urged to attend in person, so they can iron out the arising issues.

“This is not the time to go through this because we have other candidates to clear, but we shall have a meeting with all the candidates where we can ventilate some of these issues. I hope you shall attend in person where I, as the returning officer, can iron out these issues and answer all the questions in this memo in writing,” said Chebukati.

Among the issues Odinga wants addressed by the IEBC include:

Electronic identification of voters and transmission of results

Has the commission developed constitutionally compliant protocols and the results transmission path to the national tallying centre?

When will the commission share the said protocols with stakeholders?

Audit of the register of voters

What is the status of the voter registration exercise; county by county and constituency by constituency?

Is the preliminary report by the audit firm ready? If so, what are the preliminary findings?

When is the draft final report of the audit of the register of voters expected?

Amendment of the Elections General Regulations (2012)

Proposal to amend Elections General Regulations (2012) which is currently before parliament; its status and why.

Proposal to amend 3 (a) of the Elections General Regulations (2012) giving the presiding officer power to open a ballot box that has been sealed to remove wrongly put materials at the constituency tallying centre.

Recruitment of returning officers

The Commission has submitted a proposal to amend the elections regulations to give itself an exclusive mandate to appoint elections officials, including constituency, county and presiding returning officers, as well as their deputies without sharing their details with political parties and independent candidates as presently required by regulations 3, 4 and 5 of the Elections General Regulations (2012).

Printing of ballot papers

What measures has the Commission put in place to ensure there are no lapses, both logistical and security, in the general election?

Data migration

What is the status of data migration?

What steps and measures has the Commission taken to reduce or eliminate risks that could affect the functioning of election technology?

Technology

When does the Commission intend to carry out timely head to head testing of election technology?

Has the Commission conducted an annual audit of election technology to guarantee data integrity and ensure that the technology functions effectively as specified?

Internal controls

What has the Commission done to ensure that the internal controls are effective?

Stakeholder engagement

What measures or steps has the Commission taken to address the systemic inadequacies identified by the Supreme Court in 2017?

Election timelines

What is the status of compliance with statutory timelines set out in the revised elections operations plan released by the Commission on January 17, 2022?