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Cord mistaken on how polls will be conducted, IEBC says

The coming General Election will be conducted manually, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said.

While responding to a case in which the court temporarily suspended a Sh2.5 printing ballot paper tender award to a Dubai based firm, IEBC’s executive officer Ezra Chiloba said that allegations by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) over how the August 8 polls should be conducted are mistaken.

In the case documents filed on Wednesday, Mr Chiloba explained that the elections will be conducted in a manual way since physical ballot papers will still be required for the voting process.

He claimed that the polls will be manual because the election result declaration forms and registers are still necessary in providing records of the IEBC.

He also defended the security and delivery tender award to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.

“The misconception of Cord is that the General Election will be wholly electronic, it will substantially be manual and the goods subject to the procurement in point do meet tender requirements,” Mr Chiloba said.

According to IEBC, the Elections Laws (Amendment) Act 2016 came into effect on October 4, a month after the disputed tender for delivery of ballot papers, results declaration forms and poll registers was closed.

“There is no logic in the proposition that the tender in question could have contravened the said law which was neither in force nor in existence,” he added.

Cord had moved to court on December 19 challenging the procurement process in the award and sued the IEBC as well as the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

Al Ghurair Company together with Parl Media Limited are listed as interested parties in the case in which Cord claims that the tender was awarded contrary to the Election laws and the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act.

Through lawyers James Orengo and Antonny Oluoch, Cord argued that the specification of the ballot papers for elections, declaration forms and poll registers as contained in the tender documents are not in conformity with the requirements of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2016 and the integrated electronic electoral system as established by law.

According to Cord, the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2016 state that an integrated electronic electoral system has to enable voter identification and electronic transmission of results.

But IEBC, through lawyer Anthony Lubulella, want the case struck out.

High Court judge George Odunga suspended the award and extended the order on December 21.

The case will be heard on January 19.

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