The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) warned on Wednesday (21/06/17) that any court decision against the printing of ballot papers would affect the August 8 General Election date.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati made the announcement in response to reports that Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s National Super Alliance (NASA) planned to once again challenge the award of the printing tender to Dubai based firm, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company in court.
“We must avoid the temptation to sensationalise the electoral process to the extent that the country is left divided. We have seen allegations being made without any substantiation. This should not be allowed to continue,” he said.
According to the Commission, the printing of ballot papers for the presidential election is planned to take place around July 18.
“We have noted with concern comments attributed to Hon Raila Odinga that presidential ballot papers have been printed and that he shall seek judicial redress on the award of the printing ballot papers to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC,” Chebukati stated.
“We are also aware that any Kenyan has the constitutional right to seek redress from the courts in matters that they feel aggrieved. However, we wish to remind Kenyans that with 47 days to the General Election, court processes that seek to stop key milestones in the remaining days will no doubt affect the election date,” he added.
On Tuesday, Catholic Bishops called for dialogue between IEBC and political parties to resolve the stalemate surrounding the award of the ballot papers printing tender.
In a pastoral letter on elections, the clerics under the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) argued it would be important for the electoral body to discuss the printing job with everyone concerned to ensure the credibility of elections is intact.