Nasa dismisses IEBC bid to push elections over safety

The opposition has dismissed plans by the electoral agency to postpone voting in parts of the country due to possible attack of its staff.

Nasa leaders, speaking ahead of a meeting to be convened by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati Monday, argued that the proposal was ill-advised and could jeopardise the poll further.

ODM chairman John Mbadi, Mr Barrack Muluka (ANC secretary-general), Mr Opiyo Wandayi (ODM director of political affairs) and Nasa lawyer and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, said such an attempt, as proposed by Mr Chebukati yesterday, would only embolden the illegitimacy of the process.

Mr Chebukati has hinted at invoking Section 55 of the Elections Act, which gives the commission the leeway to push forward voting in parts of the country, provided that a new voting date is announced within seven days.

NATURAL DISASTER

The cancellation, states the law, can only be done in the event of an electoral malpractice, breach of peace or a natural disaster.

In so doing, he argued, IEBC could avert possible chaos as witnessed during the training of its staff in parts of Kisumu, Siaya, Vihiga, Migori and Homa Bay and give them time to provide adequate security.

But speaking to Nation on Sunday, Mr Mbadi accused the IEBC chairman of running away from responsibility.

“The IEBC messed up this process the moment they refused to undertake reforms immediately the Supreme Court nullified the elections. No level of game-meandering will help,” said Mr Mbadi.

The opposition pegs its argument on the requirement by law that a presidential election can only be declared valid if voting takes place in all the 290 constituencies.

CANCEL ELECTION

Mr Muluka advised the commission to cancel the Thursday election and begin a fresh process, saying anything short of that would only amount to “choreography and drama”.

“The only move that can lead to a legitimate process is to call off the exercise. Even Chebukati himself has admitted that he cannot guarantee a credible election as things stand,” he said.

Mr Wandayi termed the last minute changes by IEBC a non-issue. The agency, he argued, was simply engaging in an exercise in futility, at the risk of further dividing the country.

Mr Amollo remained adamant, saying that no decision by IEBC would legitimise the process, other than a postponement of the polls.

Officials feel their security is not guaranteed and have written to the chairman to express fears.

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