NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – The Jubilee Coalition has demanded that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) excludes rejected ballots from the tally of presidential results.
Addressing the media at the Jubilee Media Centre in Karen, outgoing Cabinet Minister Charity Ngilu said it will be wrong to pass an error of rejected votes to the candidates.
“The Jubilee Coalition is scandalised that sensible Kenyans can even think of including condemned ballots in the final results. The logic behind this is suspense and sinister. If you mistakenly put a county representative ballot in the presidential ballot box why should that influence the outcome of the presidential vote,” she queried.
Ngilu who lost her senatorial bid in Kitui County said the burden of rejected votes should not be transferred to the candidates since they are not responsible for the errors.
She said she did not understand why the presidential candidates should bear a mistake that is not committed by them.
“If an IEBC officer fails in his or her duty to study a ballot paper that automatically makes it a rejected vote. So on what grounds does the IEBC transfer the blame and responsibility of that condemned vote to the presidential candidate,” she wondered.
The Water Minister said it will be unfair if the rejected votes are included since it will affect the final presidential results.
Ngilu expressed concerns that there were forces pushing the IEBC to have them included to prevent the Jubilee Alliance from winning in the first round of the Monday election.
Contention surrounds a provision in the constitution that says presidential candidates must garner more than half of all the votes cast in the election.
So far IEBC has announced that there were over 300,000 rejected votes and expressed concerns that the number will continue to increase as the commission receives remaining results which are over 50 percent.
The massive number of rejected votes was recorded in received results from about 13,000 polling stations, representing 42 percent of all the provisional results across the country.
Meanwhile, despite the technical hitches and few incidences of irregularities in some areas, Ngilu called for calm among Kenyans.
Though she was also concerned at the slow pace of releasing results, she asked Kenyans to maintain peace and wait for the IEBC to deliver the results as it receives them.