NASA leaders cancelled their Tuesday Press briefing on elections management after it emerged that the electoral agency was willing to dialogue.
National Super Alliance (NASA) principals Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula and Musalia Mudavadi were expected to elaborate on the establishment of a parallel tallying centre but rescinded their decision at the last minute to give dialogue a chance.
Raila’s Spokesman Dennis Onyango said they had received a letter from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission inviting the NASA leadership for a meeting tomorrow to discuss election management.
The development came a day after the Wafula Chebukati-led commission dismissed as inconsequential newspaper reports that NASA would announce its own results in the August General Election.
The commission reportedly wants to understand NASA’s plan.
IEBC had maintained it is only the commission that is allowed under the law to count, tally, announce and declare the results of an election.
“Other actors, including political parties, shall have access to the results within the framework established by the commission,” said Chebukati.
The Constitution, the Elections Act as amended, and the attendant regulations, provide the procedure for elections results management.
In its response, IEBC further said it had developed the results management framework, which was publicly available on its website.
The framework clarifies the procedure the commission will follow in ensuring transparency and accountability in election results management. According to IEBC, the transmission ensures that each polling station reports the provisional results to the three different tallying centres simultaneously at the constituency, county and national tallying centres.
The results are transmitted beginning with President, followed by Member of National Assembly, Member of County Assembly (MCA), senator, woman representative and governor in that order as provided in Regulation 75 (2).
The Presiding Officer (PO) will immediately deliver the accurately computed forms 34 and 35 together with the ballot boxes containing items to the constituency Returning Officer.
After the announcement of the results, the PO electronically transmits the tabulated results of an election for the presidential, Member of National Assembly, MCA, senator, woman representative and governor from polling station to constituency, county and national tallying centre.
“The elections results are securely transmitted over a mobile data network to the commission’s servers for consolidation and visualisation for all the elective positions,” reads part of the framework.
The regulation framework also stipulates that the PO shall adhere to Regulation 82 and ensure that all results are transmitted from the polling station. The transmission of results shall be in accordance with Regulation 75 (2).
But before the postponement, the NASA principals held discussions earlier with the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI) Pre-Election Assessment Mission to the 2017 Kenya Elections.
The meeting focussed on the integrity of voter register, procurement of equipment, transmission of results, security before, during and after election, among other issues touching on election management.
“I joined my colleagues in hosting a delegation from the National Democratic Institute at Capitol Hill for round-table discussions on electoral preparedness,” said Raila.
He went on: “We remain committed to a free, fair and verifiable electoral process in the forthcoming General Election. The sanctity of the Kenyan voter’s voice remains paramount.”
Speaking elsewhere, Wetang’ula said NASA would have its own tallying centre during the August polls.
Wetang’ula argued that the Constitution provided provisions for optional tallying centre and dismissed accusations by critics that the Opposition plan was unconstitutional.
Speaking at Misemwa Primary School in Trans Nzoia when he officially opened storey classrooms constructed by the local Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Wetang’ula vowed that nothing will stop them from the electoral plans.
“Those opposed to the alternative tallying centre don’t understand the Constitution. NASA will not commit crime by establishing a optional tallying centre during the polls,” he said.
He said independent tallying centre will help the opposition receive results from polling stations and also monitor any attempt by Jubilee to rig the elections.
The electoral commission has vowed to block opposition plans to establish a parallel results system saying it could lead to chaos.
[Rawlings Otieno, Osinde Obare, Nderitu Gichure and Alex Wakhisi]