, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – A consultative meeting between representatives of presidential candidates in the October 26 fresh presidential election and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was adjourned late Wednesday afternoon after the Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) raised queries over a pending amendment to the Elections Act.
The Jubilee Party (JP) and NASA however reached a consensus on the agenda for a subsequent meeting slated for Thursday in which the substance of the amendments sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale will form part deliberations.
“This meeting has agreed that we’ll look at that Bill among other issues and we cannot proceed today because none of us has a copy of that amendment Bill,” IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati briefed the media in the presence of NASA and JP representatives.
In attendance at the meeting held at the Bomas of Kenya were NASA Executive Director Norman Magaya, Senator James Orengo and lawyer Paul Mwangi.
JP was represented by Secretary-General Raphael Tuju who was accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and the party’s Chief Presidential Agent Davis Chirchir.
Before reaching the resolution, the meeting which was convened on Wednesday morning was adjourned at midday after representatives asked for time to consult their principals.
The Thursday forum comes even as the National Assembly voted on Wednesday to convene a sitting on Thursday where the formation of a special committee to process the proposed amendments on the Elections Act will be discussed.
During the vote, 83 against 37 members voted in favour of the Motion.
IEBC, however, reiterated its readiness to conduct a free, fair and credible presidential election on October 26.
Chebukati commended both parties for showing up for the consultative forum urging the representatives to encourage its principals – JP’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA’s Raila Odinga – to consider attending future meetings.
Kenyatta and Odinga are the only candidates gazzetted for the fresh poll ordered by the Supreme Court when it nullified last month’s presidential election on September 1.
Whereas Odinga and his NASA alliance have maintained a rigid stance on the need for some twelve “irreducible minimums” to be addressed, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee brigade have maintained that due process of law has to be followed in meeting demands raised by NASA.
NASA has among other demands insisted that IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba would have to quit before fresh polls are conducted.
The alliance also wants IEBC to identify a new printer other than the Dubai-based Al Ghurair firm which printed ballot papers for the August 8 General Election.
NASA also wants IEBC to identify another technology provider and leave French-based OT Morpho out of the fresh poll.
IEBC has however cited binding contractual agreements with the said firms as the reason why it may be reasonable to have them supply election materials.
The commission has already published critical election timelines ahead of the fresh poll and identified leading Mobile Network Operator in the country – Safaricom – as the supplier of a Virtual Private Network for transmission of election results.