Chebukati to make staff changes before fresh poll

The electoral commission on Friday said it was ready to hold a fresh presidential election in 60 days following the Supreme Court judgment.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati also promised to make far-reaching changes to its secretariat and systems.

He however insisted that the IEBC is the only agency mandated by law to organise and run elections.

DISPUTE
He was reacting to a demand by National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga for major changes to be made in the leadership of the commission.

Mr Odinga said the opposition coalition had no faith in the team as currently constituted.

“I am confident that we can deliver the election in 60 days.

“The court directed the IEBC to run the election. This is the only institution that can do that,” Mr Chebukati said during a press conference at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi on Friday.

RESIGNATION

He further said he would not resign from his position because the Supreme Court verdict had not made any indictment against him personally.

He said from his hearing of the judgment delivered on Friday, he had no reason to resign.

Mr Chebukati said he is awaiting the full judgment to understand the errors the court identified.

The Supreme Court promised to give its full judgment in 21 days.

“In that judgment, there are certain things they will say about errors that happened in the last election and those responsible should take responsibility,” Mr Chebukati said.

TALLYING
He asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to order investigations with a view to prosecuting those culpable.

“The commission notes the three grounds used by the Supreme Court to reach its majority decision to annul the presidential result.

“We particularly note the focus of the decision is in the transmission of the presidential results.

“This therefore means that there were no aspersions cast on the voting and counting of votes and that the sovereign will of the Kenyan people was fully respected in this respect,” Mr Chebukati said.

INTEGRITY
In his petition, Mr Odinga argued that the results declaration forms were not uniform, with some lacking standardised security features; that the results started streaming to the national tallying centre before the forms, instead of accompanying them; and that the commission’s site was hacked and results altered in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Chebukati said measures would be taken to protect the integrity of the sovereign will of Kenyans.

“The commission intends to make internal changes to our personnel and processes as we prepare for the fresh presidential election in 60 days,” Mr Chebukati, who was accompanied by commissioners Roselyne Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya and Abdi Guliye, said.

“We urge the Supreme Court to issue the full judgment expeditiously to allow us to have a full understanding of the areas of focus as we prepare a timetable for the fresh presidential election, which we will publish in the coming days.”

Mr Biko said it will be a difficult time for IEBC as it battles court cases.

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