IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati (right), vice chair Consolata Nkatha Bucha Maina (centre) and commissioner Dr Roselyn Akombe at KICC, Nairobi, during the hearing of electoral misconduct cases facing a number of candidates on July 11, 2017. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Electoral commission to await court ruling on ballot job
The electoral agency will not re-advertise the tender for printing presidential election ballot papers.
IEBC wants the court to rule that there is no time to float the tender afresh after the award to Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing was quashed by the High Court on Friday.
“The learned judges erred in fact when they found that there is still time available to the appellant to procure election material without any factual basis and disregarding the professional assessment of the appellant,” the IEBC said in its memorandum of appeal filed on Monday.
The appeal was followed by a statement from the IEBC that gave the clearest indication yet that the commission could stick to Al Ghurair as it cited time and challenges in implementation of such a fresh tender.
IEBC media and communications manager Andrew Limo termed as incorrect media reports that the commission had abandoned its appeal and opted to commence fresh tendering.
“On the contrary, the IEBC has lodged an appeal on various grounds, including that it (tendering afresh) presents practical challenges of implementation,” said Mr Limo in the statement on Monday evening.
On Tuesday, Mr Limo refused to comment on what the statement meant for the appeal and the presidential election ballots.
However, appearing on Citizen TV, commissioner Roselyne Akombe appeared to suggest that both events — the appeal and award of a new tender — could be done concurrently or, at the worst, consecutively on losing the appeal.
“For us, the appeal and whether we have a fresh tender … These things are not mutually exclusive, so that if you do one it does not mean you cannot do the other,” said Dr Akombe.
She insisted that there was still time to procure the ballots and “we will do everything necessary” to ensure the holding of an election on August 8.
The IEBC was on Friday thrown into confusion after a three-judge Bench ruled that the commission was required to conduct public participation in the award of the tender to Al Ghurair to print 120 million ballots for the six elective seats that the 19.6 million Kenyans will be voting for in the August 8 General Election.
But with 26 days left, the IEBC, which had planned to print the presidential ballots last, from July 18, is scratching its head to get it right with the public participation requirement while ensuring it maintains the integrity of the election.
A meeting between IEBC and presidential candidates in Nairobi on Monday on public participation ended without a decision on whether the politicians could propose a printer and, if so, what the poll agency can do with such a proposal.
Source: Daily Nation