NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now says the printing of presidential ballot papers has kicked off following last week’s ruling by the Court of Appeal that dismissed a challenge against Dubai-based firm Al Ghurair.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba told Capital FM News that the Commission authorised the firm last Thursday to carry on with the exercise.
To ensure the process is above board, he says the Commission has already written to political parties asking them to send names of representatives who will accompany IEBC staff to Dubai for a monitoring exercise.
“We expect a team of monitors and observers from the Commission to go to Dubai in the course of the week to also witness the printing of the presidential ballot papers. We invited representatives of political parties to also participate in observing the printing,” the poll agency chief said.
IEBC has set Wednesday as the deadline for receiving formal confirmations from the political actors after it sent them out last week.
The media, election observer groups and religious groups will also have representatives on the trip, according to Chiloba.
A five-judge bench composed of Erastus Githinji, Roselyn Nambuye, Alnashir Visram, Professor James Odek and Jamila Mohammed last Thursday made a landmark ruling by reversing an earlier order that had stopped the printing of presidential ballot papers.
The Appellate Court judges unanimously faulted the High Court for stopping the printing saying it exercised its discretion wrongly.
They said directing IEBC to include public participation in a fresh tendering process as demanded by NASA had the potential to cause a constitutional crisis given the few days left to election date.
The judges said public interest had to triumph in light of the aforementioned reason to ensure millions of Kenyans are not denied their constitutional right to vote on August 8.
They said IEBC had demonstrated that it settled on Al Ghurair through direct procurement because the strict electoral timelines qualify as exceptional circumstance.