IEBC meeting with parties put off to await full Supreme Court ruling

September 20, 2017 11:53 am
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Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said in a dispatch to newsrooms that the decision to have the planned meeting postponed was arrived at after consultations with both parties/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has postponed a meeting with the Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance to allow time for the consideration of issues arising from a detailed Supreme Court ruling on the annulment of the August 8 presidential election, due Wednesday.

Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said in a dispatch to newsrooms that the decision to have the planned meeting postponed was arrived at after consultations with both parties.

“Following consultations – and by consensus – it was agreed that the joint consultative meeting that IEBC, NASA and Jubilee were to hold this afternoon (Wednesday) at Bomas be postponed to a later date to allow the parties consider the issues from the detailed judgment by Supreme Court,” he said.

Chebukati also said the decision was reached in the foresight that the detailed ruling would inform discussions on preparations for the fresh presidential election slated for October 17.

“The ruling will inform discussions on preparations for the fresh poll,” he stated.

The poll agency on September 5 gazetted President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee) and his NASA counterpart Raila Odinga as the only candidates for the fresh poll.

Meetings between Jubilee and NASA in the presence of IEBC have however been elusive in the recent past with both parties giving conditions under which such forums would occur.

Whereas Jubilee has maintained it can only meet IEBC in the presence of their rivals NASA, the Opposition alliance has been adamant that it will only attend IEBC meetings if the Commission addresses a list of 12 “irreducible minimums” they have demanded answers to, before the October poll is conducted.

Top on NASA demands is the expulsion of commission CEO Ezra Chiloba and top ICT officials who the opposition blames for mismanaging the August 8 presidential election.

Jubilee has however insisted that there can be no personnel changes at IEBC without due process being followed, accusing NASA of hounding officials of the electoral commission simply because they lost an election.

But even as the Supreme Court delivered its detailed ruling of the September 1 decision voiding the re-election of President Kenyatta, the IEBC has been forced to respond to yet another leaked memo in which Chebukati is understood to be seeking the suspension of among others ICT Manager James Muhati.

In a tweet on Tuesday night, the Commission insisted that no decision had been taken yet saying the issues raised in the leaked document were under consideration.

Just a week ago, IEBC was forced to retreat to Naivasha after a memo by Chebukati demanding answers from Chiloba was leaked to the press giving rise to a sharp division among commissioners.

The commissioners were however able to resolve their differences pledging to deliver a credible presidential poll on October 17.

Depending on findings of the detailed ruling of the Supreme Court, IEBC is understood to be considering a few changes to its results management framework to safeguard the integrity of the forthcoming presidential election.

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