Poll agency, chief agents read from same script; ready for elections

August 5, 2017 (3 weeks ago) 5:08 pm
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Chebukati however clarified that the said voters will be required to fill a form 32A after going through a validation process that will be subject to approval by party agents/HILARY MWENDA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – Chief agents for the eight presidential candidates met officials of the electoral commission on Friday, in a meeting intended to clear the air on key electoral processes ahead of the general elections on Tuesday.

The proxies in a show of unity expressed confidence in measures put in place to ensure a seamless voting process come August 8, saying the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had provided answers to queries they raised.

“Like my colleagues have said, we’ve had a very good interactive session and we’re happy with the state of preparedness. We’re very clear now on all the process from voting, counting, tallying and we’ll be able to support the process now that we’re fairly appraised on the process that we’re quite happy with,” Davis Chirchir, the Jubilee Party Chief presidential agent said at the National Tallying Centre (NTC) at the Bomas of Kenya in company of fellow agents.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Olga Karani and Bildad Kagai, Deputy Chief Agent and Chief Agent of Orange Democratic Movement’s Raila Odinga and Thirdway Alliance’s Ekuru Aukot.

“We’re very satisfied,” Kagai stated.

Following the meeting, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati told a press conference at the NTC that the commission had made adequate logistical arrangements for the general elections, all election materials expected to reach its respective county and constituency offices by Monday.

“Our officers across the country are going through their checklists to ensure that they have all the material; they need for the general election,” the head of the IEBC said.

The commission also acknowledged having received formal names of national presidential agents, urging candidates who have not submitted agents at the county and constituency levels to do so expeditiously.

He noted the importance of adequately briefing agents before the polls saying that would quicken the counting of ballots.

“The commission has received a letter from ODM party informing it that the party will not deploy agents and will defer the responsibility to its candidate. We have approved this request and encourage other parties that wish to take a similar approach to urgently inform the commission,” he stated.

On verification of voters, IEBC made it clear that all voters except some 5,227 voters whose biometrics are poor will be identified biometrically before being allowed to cast their ballots.

Chebukati however clarified that the said voters will be required to fill a form 32A after going through a validation process that will be subject to approval by party agents.

The successful simulation of the results transmission system on Wednesday according to Chebukati was a clear demonstration that IEBC’s technology systems are up to task, the Chief Returning Officer said.

He however warned rogue politicians against violating the electoral code of conduct including the regulation on the closure of campaigns 48 hours to the election saying those who contravene the law will be punished.

“The Code of Conduct Enforcement Committee remains valid until after the swearing in o a president. We will not hesitate to take action on anyone who violates the code including those who continue running political advertisements after 6 pm on August 5,” he warned.

Chebukati assured that the elections will be free fair and credible, urging the electorate to turn up in large numbers and vote peacefully.

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