A High court in Kisumu has ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to respond to an application filed by three voters seeking to have the body declare presidential results within seven hours to avert violence.
Justice David Majanja ordered IEBC to file the required documents within seven days.
“We know Kenyans are entitled to free and credible elections. The matter will be heard on July 18,” he said.
The electoral body had not responded to the application filed nor given their written submissions.
Mr Henry Kenei, representing the IEBC said he will prepare the documents within the stipulated time to enable him argue his case.
Mr Titus Alila, Mrs Jackline Otieno and Mr Francis Ogada had moved to court to compel the electoral agency to declare provisional presidential results within seven hours after closure of polling stations to avoid anxiety.
The petitioners argue the seven days allowed by the Constitution for the declaration of the Presidential results was too long.
The trio filed the suit arguing that delays in announcing the provisional results could cause chaos.
The petitioners argue that delay in announcing the Presidential election results will compromise the Constitutional thresholds for a free and fair election which must be transparent, efficient and accountable.
Through their advocate Kenneth Amondi, they argue that the petition is of public interest since the Kenyan public has invested Sh3.8 billion in the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) to ensure electronic results transmission of presidential election results from polling stations to the national tallying centre.
They said while the Constitution provides presidential results to be declared within seven days of the election, KIEMS would ensure that results of all polling stations are electronically transmitted and tallied within seven hours at the national tallying centre.
The presidential results will be announced at the polling stations then later at the constituency main tallying Centre. They would then await the final declaration of the winners at the main tallying Centre in Nairobi.
“Counting of votes start at the same time as other five positions too, therefore the presidential results announcement should not be any different,” said Mr Amondi.
He argued that the current political atmosphere is tense as the leading presidential candidates carry out campaigns, with a close contest expected in the presidential race.