High Court suspends IEBC ballot papers tender

December 19, 2016 3:52 pm
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The order was issued on Monday by Justice George Odunga who directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to start the process afresh, in a move likely to delay next year year’s election given the strict timelines provided. Photo/FILE.
NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 19 – The High Court has suspended the Sh2.5 billion ballot papers printing tender awarded to a Dubai-based firm following a case filed by CORD.

The order was issued on Monday by Justice George Odunga.

In its suit, CORD argued that the ballot papers tendered for are not in compliance with the amended Election Act to ensure they are in conformity with the integrated system.

The move is likely to delay next year year’s election given the strict timelines provided.

Paarl Media, a South Africa-based cmpany had challenged the award of the tender to the Dubai firm but was dismissed by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board which upheld IEBC’s decision.

A total of nine firms had placed bids for the supply of 130 million ballot papers.

The Monday suit was filed under a certificate of urgency, with CORD’s James Orengo arguing that the tender awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company is illegal and not in compliance with Election Laws Amendment (Act) 2016.

The Siaya Senator told Justice Odunga that specifications on the said election materials in the tender documents “are not in conformity with requirements of the amended law and the Integrated Electronic Electoral System.”

According to Orengo, the amended electoral law requires a register of voters that captures the biometric data of a voter which includes unique identifiers or attributes such as finger prints, hand and earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and signatures.

Declaration forms, they said, as awarded are not in conformity with the prescribed form of tabulated results of an election for the President from a polling station to the constituency tallying centre and to the national one.

CORD pleaded with the court to urgently address the issue, arguing that failure to rectify the situation will lead to integrity questions on next year’s General Election.

Justice Odunga was further told that the declaration forms ordered “may not have synergy and conference with the integrated electronic system as required by law”.

Orengo also claimed that poll registers ordered by the IEBC will not satisfy the conditions needed or the audit of register.

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