IEBC complies with court order, invites candidates to give views

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba. (Photo: Courtesy)

The electoral agency has now resolved to comply with Friday’s court ruling that nullified the contract for printing of presidential election ballot papers.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has consequently decided to invite all the 8 presidential candidates to a consultative meeting on Monday.

Equally, the IEBC has asked members of the public to give views through submission of written memorandum on procurement of presidential ballot papers by Tuesday, before holding a public forum on Wednesday.

Wafula Chebukati led electoral agency has however insisted it is still moving to superior court tomorrow, not to seek the overturning of the ruling but seek clarifications on the directive about public participation.

“As you know the court nullified the contract on grounds of public participation. We are therefore appealing the decision of the high court on public participation on public procurement,” Chebukati said on Friday at a press conference in Nairobi. 

The IEBC chair said the commission wants the court to shed more light on what it means by public participation on procurement since the current legal regime does not anticipate that.

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On Friday, IEBC suffered a major setback after a three judge bench composed of John Mativo, George Odunga and Joel Ngugi terminated the contract awarded to Al Ghurair.

The court clarified that the termination only affected the presidential ballot papers and that the Dubai based printer will continue executing the printing ballots for the other five elective seats.

The order by the Court was solely based on the reason that there was no public participation during the direct award of the tender to Al Ghurair which he described as very novel.

“We note that the judgement has far-reaching implications on the elections. As a result, the Commission has instructed its advocates to appeal the decision,” Chebukati had said on Friday soon after the ruling.

However by resolving to comply rather than engage in long running legal battles, the commission will have to explore new options after receiving submissions from both the candidates sand the public.

Experts say the commission can still convince the public and the candidates on allowing Al Ghurair proceed with the contract especially given that the court refused to bar the firm from participating in future tender of the commission as requested by NASA.

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