President Uhuru Kenyatta photo:courtesy
The Jubilee administration will not accept postponement of the elections, the party’s leadership has said.
This came as the controversy over the printing of ballot papers boiled over, leading to speculation the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission could be running out of time to adequately prepare for the polls.
Speaking Thursday at a campaign rally in Kericho, President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed the Opposition was keen on ensuring the polls are not held as per the Constitution.
The President and his deputy William Ruto said the Opposition wants the August elections postponed after sensing defeat.
They spoke of a scheme by the National Super Alliance (NASA) aimed at having a coalition government between Jubilee and the Opposition once they succeed to have the elections postponed to December.
“The NASA leaders are trying to force Kenyans to allow them to join the Government through the backdoor just as they did during the Grand Coalition government where they forced retired President Mwai Kibaki to share power with them,” said Uhuru.
He added: “But we are telling them the Constitution states clearly that the General Election must be held on second week of August this year. The Opposition will not block Kenyans from electing the leaders they want.”
Uhuru said Kenyans were aware that the elections would be held on August 8 and his administration had accepted all the issues and complaints that the Opposition had put forward.
“For a long time, my deputy and I have yielded to numerous demands by the Opposition on how the electoral body should be reformed. They called for the disbandment of the IEBC, we gave in.
“They then went to court over the Biometric Voter Register (BVR), we never opposed and now they have fresh demands on the printing of ballot papers, which we are ready to let them decide on who will print them,” said the President.
He added: “We have accepted the conditions placed by the Opposition because my deputy and I want peace among Kenyans but I will say it here in Londiani that we will not accept the Opposition’s shenanigans any more. Enough is enough. We will not accept the Opposition’s schemes to postpone the General Election.”
Speaking in Kericho where they took their re-election campaign after exploits in the North Rift region, the Jubilee Party leaders said issues raised by NASA presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga about the Sh2.5 billion ballot printing tender were part of the wider scheme to stop the August 8 General Election.
“We want to tell them in broad daylight that we know the game they are trying to play. The Opposition should not mistake our politeness to mean we don’t have a political stand,” Uhuru said.
President Kenyatta noted that the Opposition scheme to derail the upcoming polls started way back when they pushed for the disbandment of the Issack Hassan-led IEBC.
Ruto said the Opposition alliance had hatched a scheme aimed at discrediting the electoral agency and force the formation of a coalition government.
“It is not a secret that NASA is not ready for the August 8 elections and have been going in circles trying to circumvent the polls,” Ruto said.
He added that the Opposition’s criticism of the IEBC was a well-orchestrated plan to have the elections postponed.
“They have since gone to court over the ballot papers printing tender and even want IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba and Elections Operations Director Immaculate Kasait sent home,” said Ruto.