NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – Chief Justice David Maraga has assured the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that the Judiciary will not interfere with the ballot printing process.
Speaking after laying a foundation stone for the Homa Bay High Court, Maraga said the Judiciary sympathised with the tight timelines the Commission is working under and understood that so close to the election, the Judiciary cannot afford to hamper the printing of the ballot papers.
Making reference to cases filed by those aggrieved by the nomination process he said, “At least 45 days from the date of election we know the IEBC should have the entire list (of candidates) so they can print the ballot papers. As the Judiciary we don’t want to hamper that process.”
He then went on to say: “And you know if we interfere with that process in any way, it is going to interfere with the election and there is no question of us not holding a General Election on August 8. We must all work together and have that General Election held as is required by law. So the Judiciary is ready to do its part. All we are praying for is that we have a peaceful election. Let us all know that elections come and go but we have a country which we must keep together.”
It’s part being, Maraga made clear, the determination of election disputes: “The Judiciary will perform its duty and decide the cases which will be placed before it on the basis of the evidence and the law. So that we continue gaining public confidence in whatever we are doing.”
IEBC had on Wednesday expressed concern that the election date risked being compromised should Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s National Super Alliance move to court over the disputed award of the ballot printing tender to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC.
“We are also aware that any Kenyan has the constitutional right to seek redress from the courts in matters that they feel aggrieved. However, we wish to remind Kenyans that with 47 days to the General Election, court processes that seek to stop key milestones in the remaining days will no doubt affect the election date.”
A promise NASA made good on, on Thursday, when they moved to court seeking to nullify the May 29 decision by IEBC to award the tender for ballot printing to Al Ghurair.