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IEBC to brief diplomats on next week’s poll readiness

The meeting is among dozens of symposia organised by IEBC whose talking points have been poll readiness, voter education and training of election officials/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will convene a forum with foreign envoys on Tuesday to brief them on its readiness for next week’s repeat presidential election.

IEBC Communication Manager, Andrew Limo, told Capital FM News on Monday that the poll agency will also engage County Governors as well as other stakeholders on its preparations for the October 26 election.

The meeting is among dozens of symposia organised by IEBC whose talking points have been poll readiness, voter education and training of election officials.

Only last week, IEBC engaged election observers during which Commissioner Roselyn Akombe briefed the monitors on critical electoral processes including vote counting, tallying and transmission of election results.

During the meeting on Friday, Akombe indicated that the Commission had dropped over 200 election officials who may have played a direct role in ruining the credibility of the August 8 presidential election annulled by the Supreme Court on September 1.

“We have vetted those who had mistakes and they will not be included in this election,” she explained.

Akombe also encouraged observers to keep an eye on election officials during the repeat election to ensure strict compliance with election regulations.

“We wish to affirm and reaffirm that the polling station remains the locus of an election – that is where the will of the voter is expressed and that is why we’ve been focusing on the training of the Presiding Officers,” she said while assuring that necessary amendments have been effected to protect the credibility of this month’s vote.

She assured that adequate plans were in place to ensure timely delivery of crucial voting materials to all the 40,883 polling stations spread across 290 constituencies in the country.

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Akombe was upbeat that ballot papers will be delivered in the country in time for the elections. At the time, she indicated that printing would begin by the end of the week.

“The ballot paper printing is beginning this week and we believe that we shall be able to deliver them timely to all parts of the country,” she said.

The Commission has also been training presiding officers and polling clerks who will man the 40,883 polling stations on Election Day.

Prior to the training of junior election officials, the commission held a similar training for 47 County Election Managers and 290 Constituency Returning Officers with their deputies.

IEBC also urged candidates participating in the repeat election to submit their agents to facilitate monitor vote counting in polling stations and tallying of the same in Constituency Tallying Centres and the National Tallying Centre.

Already, Jubilee Party has trained its agents a bulk of who are elected leaders appointed to monitor the election in various parts of the country.

“Our activities since the September 1 ruling have been to comply, prepare and campaign for the fresh election while our opponents have only been engaged in press conferences and collecting money from poor citizens,” the party’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju told the press during a training session in Nairobi on Sunday.

Other than President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee) and National Super Alliance’s Raila Odinga, IEBC included five other candidates who contested on August 8 in the fresh election through an addendum gazette last week, following a High Court directive ordering the inclusion of Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot.

The others are Alliance for Real Change leader Abduba Dida and independent presidential candidates Michael Wainaina, Japheth Kaluyu and Joseph Nyagah.

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United Democratic Party’s Cyrus Jirongo was omitted after being declared bankrupt.

Odinga has since announced his withdrawal from next week’s election but IEBC has insisted that his name will be on the ballot unless he fills the statutory Form 24A, which the poll agency said was mandatory to be filled by any candidate pulling out of the race.

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