, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – Deputy President William Ruto says the Jubilee Party is satisfied with preparations undertaken by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in readiness for the fresh presidential election scheduled for October 26.
Ruto, who spoke to journalists after a meeting with IEBC Commissioners Tuesday, said the party has no “irreducible minimums” like those fronted by their Opposition rivals, the National Super Alliance (NASA).
On the contentious electoral laws amendments, Ruto said the matter is before Parliament and urged anyone with any concerns to raise them with the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee which begun public hearings on Tuesday.
“Parliament is an independent institution and the IEBC and indeed any member of the public have the opportunity to engage Parliament on matters to do with this legislation,” the DP said accompanied by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Chief Agent Davis Chirchir, Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Senate), his National Assembly counterpart Aden Duale as well as Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael and Executive Director Winnie Guchu.
The hour-long meeting between Jubilee and IEBC was preceded by a similar meeting between the Commission and NASA leaders, led by Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.
After talks that lasted two hours, NASA lawyer James Orengo told the press that they had reached no agreement with IEBC citing the Commission’s failure to address its list of demands.
Orengo said they had agreed to send a team to meet IEBC officials with a view of having substantive responses to what the opposition alliance has since described as “irreducible minimums” that ought to be addressed in totality before they gain confidence in the fresh presidential election.
“The best that has happened is that there’s going to be a meeting later in the days in which we hope all the issues we’d raised are going to be addressed,” he asserted.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati would later assure the nation in his press conference late Tuesday evening that all issues raised by NASA had been addressed promising a written response in due course.
He further reiterated that the Commission had considered all issues raised by the Supreme Court when it annulled the August 8 presidential election as well as provisions in the law to ensure full compliance with all election statutes in the fresh poll.
“The Commission could not engage a new technology company because that would entail buying new results transmission kits,” Chebukati said in response to a contract with a French technology firm OT-Morpho, which rebranded to IDEMIA Thursday last week.
He assured that the contract with the technology firm would be made available to the public to show the deliverables in the agreement with regards to electronic transmission of results during the fresh poll.
On the provision of a Virtual Private Network, Chebukati said the Commission was yet to sign a contract with Safaricom but however indicated that discussions were ongoing on the telecommunication firm’s role in the October 26 fresh presidential election.
Chebukati intimated that IEBC will be making presentations before the Parliamentary Select Committee with regards to proposed amendments to election laws in the course of the week.
The Tuesday meetings were held after Chebukati insisted on meeting presidential candidates in person after consultative meetings with representatives of Jubilee and NASA collapsed on Thursday last week after NASA representatives stormed out of talks blaming Jubilee of plotting to water down electoral laws through proposed amendments.
The fresh poll will only be contested by Jubilee and NASA.