The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced it will not appeal the ruling by the Appellate court which determined the finality of presidential results announced by constituency returning officers.
“The Court of Appeal clarified on declaration of results. We are not appealing the decision,” the electoral body tweeted Saturday (24/06/17).
The five Court of Appeal judges ruled that the results announced by each of the 290 returning officers will be final.
The court indicated that the section of the law that gives the Commission or its chairman, Mr Wafula Chebukati, powers to make any alterations to the results is contrary to the provisions of transparency and accuracy.
“It is clear beyond peradventure that the polling station is the true locus for the free exercise of the voters’ will.
“The counting of the votes as elaborately set out in the Act and the Regulations, with its open, transparent and participatory character using the ballot as the primary material, means, as it must, that the count there is clothed with a finality not to be exposed to any risk of variation or subversion,” the judges ruled.
The judges also noted that Returning Officers will be required by law to retain the tools used in announcing election results for a period of three months and that one can be fined a maximum of Sh500,000 for interfering with or mutilating poll materials.
The move is bound to place more pressure on Returning Officers and give parties and candidates the motivation to ensure they have agents at every polling station to ensure the results announced are correct.
“The presiding officer will eventually take stock of the number of ballot papers issued to him by the appellant before the commencement of the voting, the number of ballot papers issued to voters; the number of spoilt ballot papers; and the number of ballot papers remaining unused.”