Case on announcement of presidential results fails to kick off

Three voters claim that delays in announcing results could allow rigging to take place.

The hearing of a petition seeking to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to declare provisional presidential results within seven hours after closure of polling stations failed to kick off at the Kisumu High court.

Monday, High court Judge Trispisa Chesere ordered the petitioners to serve the electoral body with copies of the petition before another hearing date can be set.

In the petition, three voters Titus Alila, Jackline Otieno and Francis Ogada claimed that delays in announcing the results could allow rigging to take place as well as create anxiety in the country.

With the government investing heavily on the use of technology ahead of the polls, they argued that provisional results can be declared in at least six hours after the closure of polling stations.

They noted that the Sh3.8 billion Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) will allow the electoral body to transmit the presidential result election results electronically.

“Delay in the announcement of presidential election results is a harbinger for creating anxiety, confusion and violence in a deeply polarised political environment such as in Kenya,” read the petition in part.

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The petitioners represented by Kisumu based lawyer Kenneth Amondi argued any delays is likely to cast a doubt on the credibility of the exercise should some people take advantage of the situation to rig.

“Delay in announcing the provisional presidential election results winner may give room for ballot paper stuffing and filling in gaps thereby compromising the integrity of the entire process,” they said.

The case will be mentioned on June 19.

The National Super Alliance has insisted that presidential results should be declared as received from returning officers manning constituencies while IEBC holds on to having verification done first before the chairperson declares presidential results.

Last month, the High Court in Nairobi ruled that Presidential election results declared at the constituency level by returning officers will be final, a ruling that IEBC contested at the Court of Appeal.

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