Friday, 19 April 2013

IEBC can’t be trusted to run poll, says Raila

Posted  Thursday, April 18  2013 at  21:00

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday criticised the electoral commission, saying it could not be trusted to conduct another election as currently constituted.
Mr Odinga said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) presided over an election that had numerous malpractices, which should not be allowed to happen in future.
“Let this be the last time that we go to an election and end up with what was witnessed in the last General Election,” said the former PM when he hosted a luncheon for members of his presidential campaign secretariat in Nairobi.
He was accompanied by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and more than nine Cord legislators.
He said even if they had gone for a rerun, they would have lost it as the IEBC had already ordered for more ballot papers, to be distributed in the strongholds of his opponents, which would have been used to rig the polls.
Stand test of time
“We cannot go back to an election with the IEBC as is currently constituted. What happened to me today will happen to someone else tomorrow. Let’s have institutions that stand the test of time,” he went on, perhaps calling for the commission to be reconstituted before the next General Election.
Mr Odinga spoke just a day after the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the procurement of election equipment.
The DPP, Mr Keriako Tobiko, said the order was due to the recommendations of the Supreme Court that IEBC officials involved in procurement irregularities be investigated. (READ: Corruption squad set to probe IEBC)
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court judges recommended investigation and possible prosecution of electoral commission officials who may have been involved in impropriety during the procurement of the equipment.
But on Thursday, the former PM did not have kind words for the Supreme Court Judges either. He criticised the manner in which they delivered the judgment that upheld IEBC’s declaration of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s fourth President.
He said the judges “were even afraid to read their judgment as it is in common practice. They only signed it and left”.
Mr Odinga said his lawyers had cited several contradictions in the judgment, which they will be revealing in due course.
The former PM told his supporters that everything that happened during the poll was now water under the bridge and Kenyans must now move forward.
“When one window of opportunity closes, another automatically opens. This is what we must focus on. But sadly, we spend most of our time knocking the doors that have already closed,” Mr Odinga said.
Additional reporting by Peter Leftie

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