, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 21 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission again warned on Wednesday that any court action against the printing of ballot papers would affect the August 8 General Election date.
Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati flanked by Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba restated the warning in response to reports that Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s National Super Alliance planned to once again challenge the award of the printing tender to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company in court.
They also sought to set the record straight that as yet, no printing had begun, with the exercise set to begin on Friday.
The printing of ballot papers for the presidential election is however planned to take place around July 18. “We have noted with concern comments attributed to Hon Raila Odinga that presidential ballot papers have been printed and that he shall seek judicial redress on the award of the printing ballot papers to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC,” Chebukati stated.
“We must avoid the temptation to sensationalise the electoral process to the extent that the country is left divided. We have seen allegations being made without any substantiation. This should not be allowed to continue.”
“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.”
Following the launch of the National Super Alliance’s ‘Adopt-a-Polling-Station’ drive, Chebukati also made clear that the Commission would only allow one agent per party, per polling station.
“In some areas you have 35 candidates contesting for a single post. Can you imagine if there were five agents for every single candidate? It would be chaos. So we encourage parties to have one agent per polling station for all their candidates.”