IEBC reschedules presidential re-run to October 26
By David Indeje / September 21, 2017
The Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has rescheduled the repeat presidential election for Oct. 26 from oct. 17. “In order to ensure that the Commission is fully prepared to deliver an election that meets the standard set out by the Supreme Court, we wish to notify the public and all stakeholders that the fresh presidential election shall now be held on Thursday, 26 October 2017,” said Wafula Chebukati, the Commission’s chair in a statement. However, he noted that, “There is no doubt that the judgement impacts on the election operations and in particular technology to be deployed.”
Safran morpho, the supplier of the Kenya Integrated Elections management System used for voter identification and transmission of results had asked the IEBC to extend the date to October 26th to allow it to upgrade the system and reconfigure the kits.
The electoral commission had declared Uhuru, the Jubilee candidate winner of the presidential vote after he garnered 8,203,290 (54.27 per cent) votes against Mr Raila’s 6,762, 224 (44.74 per cent). However, Raila Amolo Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, who were the presidential and deputy presidential candidates of the National Super Alliance (NASA) Coalition of parties filed the presidential petition challenging the declared result of that Presidential election accusing the IEBC for having conducted the election badly that it failed to comply with the governing principles established under Articles 1, 2, 4, 10, 38, 81, 82, 86, 88, 138, 140, 163 and 249 of the Constitution of Kenya and the Elections Act (No. 24 of 2011). The Supreme Court by majority -Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu, Judges Smokin Wanjala, and Isaac Lenaola ruled that the August Presidential elections contained “irregularities and illegalities”. “A declaration is hereby issued that the Presidential Election held on 8th August, 2017 was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared result invalid, null and void.” “…the irregularities and illegalities in the Presidential election of 8th August, 2017 were substantial and significant that they affected the integrity of the election, the results notwithstanding.” The Judges ordered the IEBC to organize and conduct a fresh Presidential Election ‘in strict conformity with the Constitution and the applicable election laws within 60 days of the determination of 1st September 2017 under Article 140(3) of the Constitution’. According to the judges, “We have shown that contrary to popular view, the results of an election in terms of numbers can be overturned if a petitioner can prove that the election was not conducted in compliance with the principles laid down in the Constitution and the applicable electoral law.”
President Uhuru maintained the Supreme Court ruling was inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution which Kenyans passed in 2010.
“What happened is a judicial coup,” President Kenyatta said. “We have a constitution which has placed the interests of wananchi far above those of individuals; we have a constitution which has curtailed the powers of the Presidency, so that the will and wishes of the citizens would be respected,” said the President.
“In a democratic and free nation, where citizens’ rights are to be respected, we are now being told their will doesn’t matter; … wananchi who thought that the constitution guarantees their sovereign will are being told it doesn’t matter; it’s only few individuals who can decide for the 45 million people who their leaders can be,” said the President.
About David Indeje
David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government, Health, and Gender Development stories are his passion. Follow on Twitter @David_Indeje