NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – CORD leader Raila Odinga has said the burden is on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to prove to the Opposition it can be trusted to run a transparent and credible election in 2017.
Odinga who lost the 2013 poll to President Uhuru Kenyatta was speaking Thursday after meeting IEBC chairman Issack Hassan in his Nairobi office alongside senior CORD officials.
Odinga pressed for further consultations with the electoral body to review the IEBC strategic plan 2015-2020 that was recently launched without the blessings of the Opposition with the governing Jubilee Coalition also raising concerns.
Thursday’s call was a follow-up to another meeting between CORD and other IEBC Commissioners where Hassan was unavailable after uproar greeted the launch of the plan that was supervised by Vice-Chairperson Lilian Mahiri-Zaja.
CORD Co-chair Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama who spoke to Capital FM News soon after the meeting said the IEBC Chairman had noted the importance of building trust with the political parties so as to restore confidence in the electoral body and has since agreed to review the strategic plan.
“The chances are very big to have the document revisited and reviewed now by both sides of the leadership in this country, and agree on a common ground so as to incorporate the views of Kenyans,” said Muthama.
Hassan is reported to have called for the meeting despite CORD having authoritatively stated that if he oversaw the upcoming election they would boycott it, sentiments repeated by Muthama in his address.
“We revisited the same issues where it was agreed upon that he will pay a great deal of consideration with his team and we made it clear that if he proceeds on that working document, CORD is out as a coalition,” stated Muthama.
He said they were looking to create a cordial working relationship with the electoral body adding that what they were demanding was not impossible.
In a statement sent to newsrooms after the meeting, Odinga said the actions by the commissioners had betrayed their trust and their confidence in the electoral body was at an all time low.
Odinga listed partisan issuance of identity cards, skewed voter registration, poor compilation of voters register, existence of unofficial polling stations and failure of electronic equipment as part of the glaring issues that affected the 2013 general election saying these were among the concerns they expected to address during their meeting with the electoral body.
During the strategic plan launch, Mahiri-Zaja had indicated that they had conducted a post election analysis and had noted the weaknesses of the 2013 election which they hoped to resolve ahead of the 2017 elections.
Hassan assured CORD that they would incorporate their concerns before the 2017 General Election.
Also in attendance was Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula, ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba and the ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen.