NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – The fresh presidential election will now be held on October 26.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said on Thursday that the decision to change the date from the earlier gazetted October 17 date was taken to ensure the new poll conforms to the law and election regulations as ordered by the Supreme Court which nullified the presidential poll on September 1.
“There is no doubt that the judgment impacts the election operations and in particular technology to be deployed,” an update on the Commission’s Twitter handle read pledging to issue further details on Friday.
The decision follows a detailed ruling of the Supreme Court released Wednesday in which the court explained grounds upon which it nullified the outcome of the August presidential contest.
On Wednesday, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati cancelled a scheduled meeting with representatives of the Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance (NASA) citing a consensus reached between the parties on the need to wait for the detailed verdict of the Supreme Court.
“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.
The change of date came even as the Cabinet chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta approved a Sh10 billion allocation to IEBC for purposes of conducting the new poll in Supplementary budget estimates for the 2017/18 Financial Year.
IEBC’s technology French-based election technology supplier OT-Morpho had in a letter to the Commission on Monday indicated that it needed to back up data collected in the August 8 General Election as well as, depending on findings of the court, adopt a few changes to the Results Transmission System which was at the centre of the annulment of the August poll.
The firm is understood to have recommended the Commission to consider changing the date to give time for the analysis of the Supreme Court ruling.
The IEBC is also keen on preserving data for the election to allow a smooth handling of 339 petitions filed in courts across the country challenging the outcome of gubernatorial, senatorial, MP as well as County Assembly elections in selected electoral areas.
In an address to the nation on Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated his stance that he won the August poll but however said he will submit himself to a fresh process as ordered by the Supreme Court.
He however affirmed that the election must be organised with 60 days as stipulated in Article 140 (3) of the Constitution and as directed by Chief Justice David Maraga and his Supreme Court bench.
President Kenyatta’s remarks came even as NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga reiterated on Wednesday that “there can be no fresh election” if IEBC fails to address its list of 12 “irreducible minimums” top among the list the push for the ouster of IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.
The court did, however, impute no criminal culpability on neither the commission nor its officials – commissioners and the secretariat included.