Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot now wants the electoral commission to destroy the extra 1.2 million presidential ballot papers printed by Al-Ghurair limited saying it could be a recipe for chaos in the August 8, 2017 elections.
Mr. Aukot noted that the reasons given by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) serves to promote the interests of the Al-Ghurair and not those of majority Kenyans, who want a free, fair and credible process.
“We all know how ambitious Kenyan politicians can get and how volatile the situation in the polling stations can be. Why do we want to dangle the 1.2 million ballot papers and expect no repercussions?” Mr Aukot posed.
According to the IEBC, the extra 1.2 million ballot papers printed on top of the over 20 million presidential ballot papers against a population of slightly over 19 million registered voters in the country, are meant to cater for cases where voters may spoil their ballot papers before casting them and request for more.
The opposition, led by Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga, have also questioned the motive but IEBC says that its decision is based on the assumption that there is 100 percent voter turnout during the elections.
According to the Thirdway Alliance candidate, “this is not justified because there has never been 100 percent voter turnout in the history of elections in Kenya.”
He said that the extra ballots cannot be justified noting that an election must have a clear audit of trail of ballot papers and that IEBC should focus on counting and reporting the cast votes and not monitoring and accounting for the unused ballots because “we will lose focus if we do that.”
“IEBC should destroy the extra ballot papers before they are dispatched to the polling stations. This is a simple exercise, which only requires crossing the extra ballot papers with a permanent pen and thus rendering them useless so that all Kenyans can gain the confidence that we will start the poll with the right number of ballot papers,” he said.
Mr. Aukot also condemned the brutal murder of the IEBC’s ICT manager Chris Msando, whose body was found dumped in a forest in Kikuyu saying that it was socking.
He said that despite the manager having reported to the police of death threats, the matter was not given the attention it deserved.
“Chris had done solid and robust work at IEBC to ensure the election technology is tamper proof and we intend to honour him by ensuring that his dream of a transparent, free and credible election,” he said.
IEBC seeks to calm fears that surplus material will be used to rig the election.