, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot has raised concerns over plans by the National Super Alliance (NASA) to set up a parallel tallying center in the neighbouring Tanzania.
Aukot warned in a press conference Wednesday that the move undermines the electoral process as well as the sovereignty of the republic, amid reports that a NASA tallying center had already been set up in Kigamboni, a district within Tanzania’s administrative capital of Dar es Salaam.
He urged President John Magufuli to resist any attempt to be dragged into Kenya’s domestic affairs; something he said could have serious repercussions on the Kenya-Tanzania relations.
“As a party, we feel this continues to undermine our electoral management processes, trust and faith in our institutions, the independence of IEBC and the security as well as the sovereignty of our beloved Republic of Kenya,” Aukot stated.
“We urge the Republic of Tanzania to refuse to be used as a satellite venue for fighting our political competition. The risk is that Tanzania will be undermining Kenya’s sovereignty and appearing to be partisan.”
Having been among those agitating for the retendering of the presidential ballots, the Thirdway leader deferred to the judgement of the learned judges of the Court of Appeal that there is no more time to lose. “We agree to abide by the decision of the learned judges.”
He reiterated his commitment to a peaceful election, pledging to support IEBC deliver a credible poll.
“IEBC derives its mandate from the people of Kenya, through the constitution and we will unwaveringly continue to support IEBC in this difficult journey in their bid to ensure the 2017 General Election is credible,” Aukot remarked while urging all political parties to support the electoral body to ensure it discharges its mandate free of sabotage.
Thirdway Alliance however urged the poll body to involve presidential agents in the supervision of the printing process as well as counting and sealing of presidential ballot papers at the printer.
Following the Court of Appeal ruling, the legal attorneys representing the opposition alliance, led by Paul Mwangi, said the NASA leaders will determine the next course of action once briefed.
“We shall be meeting the NASA principals and advising them on what the court has held and the decision on where it goes from here is a decision only they can make,” Mwangi told reporters after the ruling.
“We’re not very happy in the way it has turned out because we feel there were contradictions with regards to observations the court made on public participation,” he added.
“It’s a victory for Kenyan people because Kenyans now have certainty that on August 8, there will be elections,” Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju said as he welcomed the ruling.