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Turn to Supreme Court for guidance, NASA tells electoral commission

Judges Lenaola (r), Jackton Ojwang, CJ David Maraga, DCJ Mwilu and Smokin Wanjala of the Supreme Court/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – A section of Opposition Members of Parliament have called on the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to turn to the Supreme Court for guidance regarding next week’s fresh presidential election.

The legislators sentiments comes in the wake of a shock move by IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe who tendered her resignation with just eight days to the repeat presidential election.

Addressing journalists at Parliament buildings on Wednesday, Ugunja lawmaker Opiyo Wandayi and his Gem counterpart Elisha Odhiambo said the reasons cited by Commissioner Roselyn Akombe in her letter of resignation confirmed the Opposition’s fears that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission cannot conduct a free and fair poll.

“We are looking at a Commission which has lost both moral and legal credibility to perform its functions. The Chairperson cannot pretend any further, (Wafula) Chebukati has been under siege. No decision by the Chairperson can carry the day because of the veto power of the four other Commissioners but we want to appeal to Chebukati to own up and just leave, just run away from this mess!” said Wandayi.

Wandayi further urged Chebukati to resign citing lack of independence and political interference from external forces.

“We call upon the Chairperson to resign and save this country from plunging into political catastrophe ahead of the October 26 repeat poll,” he said.

Odhiambo said there is need for urgent political dialogue noting the country cannot go to an election under the current environment which he described as tensed.

“IEBC as currently constituted cannot provide Kenyans with a credible election; the best is for them to come out and put Kenya first. This country is bigger than all of us and a time of crisis like this is where you need the strength of character to manifest and save a nation,” said Odhiambo.

Akombe resigned from her post citing that the IEBC was under political siege, unable to reach consensus or take any decisions.

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The electoral official, who has fled the country to New York, stated that Kenya is unable to hold a credible election next week.

She further noted that the current political climate in the country is not conducive for an election to take place.

“The current political conditions did not exist on the 1st of September when the order was issued. It would therefore have been logical for the Commission to be frank with the Kenyan people and clearly state the challenges we face in organizing a free, fair, and credible election.”

She was interviewed on the BBC on Wednesday morning where she sought to explain the reasons behind her resignation from the electoral commission, a week to the fresh presidential election.

“I cannot live with an election that is never going to be credible. We have to get to a point where we are able to speak the truth whether that truth hurts Jubilee or NASA, that is the truth,” she told the radio station.

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