November 16, 2018

IEBC makes new decision on election results

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has bowed to pressure to announce constituency results as they stream in at the national tallying centre.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati noted that they had planned to only announce the total results since returning officers will have already made them public at the constituency level.

“We will heed to Kenyans’ wish for us to announce them as they trickle in. The polling station remains the true locus for the free exercise of voters’ will.

“Votes cast at each polling centre shall be counted, tabulated and the outcome announced without delay by the presiding officer,” he noted.

The IEBC also reiterated that the commission is well prepared and has employed a strong team of experts to ensure the IEBC servers are not hacked.

“Anybody found interfering with the server will be dealt with and will face the full force of the law. We ask Kenyans not to stand aside and observe, but participate to enjoy their democracy,” Chebukati said.

The Court of Appeal determined the finality of presidential results announced by constituency returning officers in June.

The court indicated that the section of the law that gives the commission or its chairman, 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.

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