, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Jubilee Rift Valley leaders have asked the Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) not to interfere with the planned fresh presidential election date released on Monday by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Led by the former Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi, the leaders under the ‘UhuRuto Express Team’ on Tuesday chided the Opposition for applying double standards in not allowing the electoral body to perform its mandate fully even after being ordered by the Supreme Court to set the date within 60 days.
“We appeal to NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his team to abide by the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the IEBC to conduct the repeat presidential poll. Chief Justice David Maraga was emphatic that it is the constitutional duty of the electoral body to conduct fresh polls and not any other body,” said Cheboi.
Cheboi, who was defeated by the current Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis during the April Jubilee party primaries, tasked the Opposition to borrow a leaf from the ruling coalition in abiding the Supreme Court verdict albeit highly criticizing it.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has already pledged to abide by the court order and we ask NASA to also abide by the orders as directed by the Supreme Court instead of engaging in sideshows,” said Cheboi during a media briefing at a city hotel.
Cheboi further commended the poll body for choosing a date that will not affect the preparations for both primary and secondary national examinations.
“We wish to state we are ready for the repeat presidential election which the IEBC has set for October 17. We commend IEBC for coming up with an electoral date that will not interfere with the school calendar,” said Cheboi.
Former Ainabkoi lawmaker Samuel Chepkonga who was also present during the briefing dismissed boycott threats by the Opposition that they will not participate in the October polls on grounds that they were not consulted.
“17th October is within the 60 days as directed by the Supreme Court. It is not for them to shout in rallies and tell us that they should have been consulted; they are not IEBC, they are candidates like everybody else,” he said.
Other leaders present during the briefing included former Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita, Bishop Jackson Kosgei, Julius Kones and Uasin Gishu Senator Isaac Melly.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Odinga faulted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for declaring a new election date without adequate consultations and further threatened to boycott the October poll unless their demands are met.
“IEBC should not be allowed to conduct the election but instead be sent home, investigated and prosecuted for heinous acts,” said Odinga.
Odinga further said the electoral body should have sought their opinion on the matter given the weighty issues they have raised-including demands for far-reaching reforms before a new election is conducted.
The Supreme Court ordered a repeat presidential election following a successful petition filed by the Opposition that found illegalities in the August presidential poll.