IEBC: Printing of ballot papers has commenced

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati flanked by IEBC officials during a press conference at a Nairobi hotel on 25/6/17-BEVERLYNE MUSILI

The electoral agency confirmed the printing of ballot papers had started.

This is despite a case challenging the award of the Sh2.5 billion tender by the Opposition before a three-judge bench.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati said they decided to start printing the 120 million ballot papers because of the limited time left before the polls, despite the pending case.

On Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga appointed High Court judges Joel Ngugi, George Odunga and John Mativo to hear the case that has the potential to scuttle the August 8 General Election.

This was after Justice Odunga declined to stop the tender awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing as prayed for by the National Super Alliance (NASA).

Mr Chebukati explained that the ongoing printing was for all the 14,552 candidates whose nomination had no disputes. 

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There are about 16 cases arising from the party primaries before the Court of Appeal among them by Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo, which is challenging the High Court ruling that directed IEBC to gazette former MP Ayiecho Olweny as the ODM candidate for the seat.

He said IEBC had also submitted names to the Government Printer for gazettement as required by law.

“We have commenced the printing of ballot papers for most of the candidates, which do not have disputes,” said Chebukati.

The chairman said his team was looking forward to “a speedy conclusion of the court case on the tender” so that the commission can proceed with its plans of delivering free, fair and credible elections.

The polls boss said all the artwork for the ballot papers had been submitted to the printing firm and the ballot proofs generated.

He spoke at the close of a three-day training workshop for 870 election officials at Safari Park. The officials included county and constituency returning officers as well as Information Communication Technology (ICT) officers.

The printing for governor, MPs, senators, Woman Representatives and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) started on Friday, June 23 while that of presidential is set to start on July 18.

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According to IEBC plans, the first batch of the poll materials will be delivered  by July 25 while the last batch ought is to be delivered on August 2, five days before the polls.

NASA wants the courts to quash the deal between IEBC and the Dubai firm claiming that the firm had links with top Jubilee leaders.

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused IEBC of ignoring voices of suspicion and fear over the involvement of the firm in the electoral process and alleged links to the Kenyatta family.

The Opposition claims the company might be part of a plot to influence the August 8 elections.

 

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