Friday, July 7, 2017

#KenyaElections: No changes to the voter register, candidates' list - IEBC

The electoral agency could be headed for a fresh confrontation with the Opposition and candidates whose poll disputes are still pending in various courts.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday declared that it would not allow any further changes to the voter register and list of candidates. The Raila Odinga-led Opposition has been agitating for the removal of dead voters from the register.

However, IEBC yesterday cited tight timelines as the reason for not allowing any further changes. Addressing a press conference in Nairobi, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said dispute resolution processes were taking too much time, explaining that further delay could derail the election preparation process.

He said the electoral system in place requires IEBC to load details of candidates in all the 45,000 Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS) kits, a process it argues is time -consuming.

"Rather than risk the realisation of the entire polls on August 8, the commission has resolved that no further amendments to the candidates' list and the register of voters shall be introduced at this stage," Mr Chebukati said. The declaration is expected to put IEBC at loggerheads with the Judiciary.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice David Maraga warned the commission against printing ballot papers until the ongoing cases are concluded. But Chebukati complained that the courts were too slow and the commission could not continue waiting for the determination of the cases.

"Under the law, political parties were required to nominate their candidates and resolve intra-party disputes at least 90 days prior to the election day. The commission was required to register the candidates at least 60 days to the election day and a period of 10 days for disputes in resolution.

"However, a month to the polls we are concerned that disputes continue in courts and at the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal," he said.

IEBC, however, indicated that the affected candidates could still participate though their results would not be transmitted electronically.

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