NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has gazetted October 17 as the presidential election date, with Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga as the only candidates.
In the gazette notice dated September 5, campaigns for the fresh presidential election are scheduled to run from Wednesday (September 6) to October 15.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati also appointed a six-member team to oversee the fresh presidential election led by the Commission’s Deputy CEO in charge of Support Services, Marjan Hussein Marjan, who has been named Project Coordinator.
Other members of the team are Sidney Namulungu who will head operations, Nancy Kariuki (logistics), Bernard Moseti (training), Albert Gogo (ICT) and Silas Rotich who will man the National Tallying Center.
“The appointments takes immediate effect and will last for a period of three months,” Chebukati said in a press statement on Tuesday, while assuring the electorate that the Commission was committed to conducting the election “in accordance with the Constitution, the relevant laws and that it reflects the sovereign will of the Kenyan people”.
Following the Supreme Court ruling which invalidated the August 8 presidential election on Friday, Chebukati promised to make changes in the Commission in preparation for a new presidential poll as ordered by the court, while at the same time inviting the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to probe its staff with a view of punishing those responsible for mishandling the initial vote.
“There are certain things they’ll say about errors, what happened during the last election, so whoever was part of that problem will have to take responsibility,” he said.
“As of now I listened to that judgment and I didn’t hear anything with regard to the chairperson of the electoral commission.”
In the Supreme Court ruling on Friday last week, four out of six judges held that the presidential election “was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared results invalid, null and void.”
The court further directed IEBC to conduct the presidential election afresh, having held the declaration of President Kenyatta as the winner of the election as “invalid, null and void”.
“An order is hereby issued directing the first respondent (IEBC) to organize and conduct a fresh election in strict conformity with the Constitution and the applicable election laws within 60 days of the determination under Article 143 of the Constitution,” Chief Justice David Maraga directed.
Odinga, who contested the election on an Orange Democratic Movement party ticket while welcoming the ruling had, however, cast aspersions on a number of IEBC staff demanding their resignation before a new poll is held.
“We’ve got no faith in the electoral commission as currently constituted. They have committed criminal acts; most of them actually belong to the jail and therefore we shall ask for prosecution,” Odinga told reporters outside the court.
“We will have to look deeply into the conduct of the electoral commission. We do not have faith that they are capable of conducting a free and fair election,” his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka affirmed.
NASA has also challenged the October 17 date set by the IEBC, with its presidential candidate saying he preferred October 24 or 31.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi had requested the electoral agency to consider conducting the elections by October 17, in consideration of the students sitting national examinations.