, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – The printing of ballot papers for the August General Election is expected to commence Friday going by a statement delivered by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday.
They do not however include the ballots for the presidential election, which Chebukati said are scheduled to printed around July 18.
The Commission had invited “key election stakeholders” to monitor the exercise but both the ruling party and main Opposition, the National Super Alliance, turned down the invite leaving the Commission at a loss.
The Commission had invited representatives of all eight presidential candidates, the media, civil society and the Inter-Religious Council to travel to Dubai and verify that no ‘extra’ ballot papers are printed to boost any one candidate’s performance in the August General Election.
NASA however moved to court on Thursday to contest the awarding of the ballot printing tender to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC which it says has close ties with the ruling party.
Litigation which the Commission has warned, could render the Commission unable to conduct the General Election on August 8.
“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.”
On Thursday, Chief Justice David Maraga said the Judiciary had no intention of “interfering” or “hampering,” the holding of the General Election on August 8 as set out in the Constitution.
“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. 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.”