, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The Jubilee Party on Thursday asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should proceed and carry out next week’s presidential election as mandated by the Constitution.
The Party’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju said whether President Uhuru Kenyatta meets IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati or not, that should not act as a barrier to the October 26 poll, while insisting that any resultant dispute should be settled by the Supreme Court.
“While the President is at liberty to meet any Kenyan and of course the Chairman of the IEBC at his pleasure, the Jubilee Party’s position is that the IEBC has the distinct responsibility thrust upon it by the Constitution to organize and oversee elections including the one scheduled for 26th October 2017 without reference to anyone,” Tuju said.
“The Constitution envisages the role of the IEBC Chairperson to be the referee of the presidential election not the mediator of political contests.”
He insisted that neither President Kenyatta nor National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga can define the rules of the game other than the Supreme Court and that is only where there is doubt or ambiguity.
“It is the duty of the Supreme Court to address it given its original and appellate jurisdiction to interpret the Constitution as well as any other law relating to elections or otherwise,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, he says they have petitioned the Supreme Court to summon Odinga for contempt of court following his withdrawal from the poll and alleged obstruction of the party’s local agents from training, specifically in Siaya and Kisumu County.
Over the past a few days, training of IEBC officials has been obstructed by rowdy youths, who insist there will no election on October 26.
It is not yet sure whether President Kenyatta, who is currently on his homestretch campaigns, will meet the IEBC Chairperson.
On Thursday, his bitter rival met the polls officials where he said he could “reconsider” his decision to quit the country’s troubled election race, provided there was “proper” headway on electoral reform.
“If proper consultations are done and if proper reforms are carried out, and those fears that we raised are addressed, that made us pull out of this race, then we will reconsider,” Odinga said.
“But as it stands right now, our position is (as) we announced it yesterday,” he warned.
The Supreme Court last month overturned the outcome of an initial vote on August 8 in which Odinga’s arch rival, President Kenyatta was declared winner.
The court, in a historic ruling, declared there had been “irregularities” in the counting process and mismanagement by poll officials.
On Wednesday Odinga addressed a rally where he vowed that there would be “no election” and his party would stage massive nationwide rallies on polling day.
“Protests will go on, on the 26th (there) will be the biggest demonstrations in the whole country,” he said.
On Wednesday, Chebukati urged Odinga and Kenyatta to meet with him to ease tension.
But Kenyatta has refused any postponement of the election and said any “dialogue” should focus on how to ensure that next Thursday’s election proceeds smoothly and peacefully.
“That is the only dialogue that is on the table, an election,” he said during a live chat with voters on Facebook.
“We are ready to dialogue at any time on how we will conduct ourselves during the election.”