We don’t regret appeal, says IEBC

From Left: Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Ezra Chiloba, Commissioner Roselyn Kwamboka, Deputy Chairperson Consolata Nkatha and Chairman Wafula Chebukati during the National elections conference held at Nairobi Safari park hotel. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) received Friday’s court ruling on tallying centres with a cautious response, as the Jubilee Party remain silent.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said they do not consider the Appeal court’s declaration that presidential results announced at constituency level be final as a blow.

Although, the commission lost the appeal before a five-bench judge, Mr Chebukati said the verdict was still important to them and that they don’t regret their decision.

He said their intention was to seek clarity on several aspects of the High Court ruling that declared that results announced by constituency returning officers cannot be altered.

“We have just seen a news alert on the same but we did not go to the Court of Appeal to win or lose. What we were seeking is interpretation of article 138 of the Constitution and I am told it’s a very long judgement and we will go through it to see what areas the court has clarified.” President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto supported IEBC’s decision to challenge the High Court verdict and chided the opposition when they filed a case to stop the printing of ballot papers.

“Today he went to court as part of his plot to block Kenyans from voting. Raila Odinga and his opposition associates have lodged more than 10 objections related to the election in court,” Uhuru told a rally in Karatina.

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Speaking Friday at a Nairobi hotel, the IEBC boss said the commission will study the contents of the ruling.

“So for us, it’s not a win or loss situation but the clarification, we shall study the judgement and issue a comprehensive statement.”

NASA had put the commission under pressure to withdraw the appeal arguing that allowing the IEBC chairman who is the returning officer for the presidential poll power to alter results will lead to rigging.

The IEBC chair spoke after opening a three-day training workshop for over 870 staffs including county and constituency returning officers and ICT officers at the Safari Park hotel in Nairobi. The commission said the meeting was part of training of county and constituency election managers and staff who are holding a joint planning meeting for August polls.

Chebukati told the officers to perform their work diligently and ensure Kenyans hold a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. Warning that those who violate the code of conduct will not be spared.

“We have finished the procurement of strategic and non-strategic election material and now gearing towards election date. I want to assure the country that we shall hold a free, fair, credible and peaceful poll.”

Commissioner Paul Kurgat disclosed that IEBC devolved some of its operations including financial services where all 47 county election bosses will now operate bank accounts and be in charge of procurement.

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