RETURN TO CHAOS: IEBC Appeal on Declaration of Presidential Results
Appealing Presidential Results Declaration:
• The decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to Appeal a High Court judgment (Petition No.207 of 2016) that declared the Constituency as the final level for announcing and declaring Presidential Results has come at a time the Commission has demonstrated its willingness to circumvent the law.
• The IEBC participated in this case as a respondent and put forth the same arguments it is making now. The High Court bench of distinguished Justice Muchelule, Justice Korir and Justice Chacha heard, determined and gave a judgment on this matter.
• The three judges declared IEBC contention to have the power to confirm, alter, vary and, or verify presidential election results as declared by the constituency returning officer in any particular constituency as NULL and VOID.
• It is not ODM or NASA that made this judgment. It is an independent bench of the High Court of Kenya.
• By Appealing this judgment, and seeking to have the commission sitting in Nairobi have a hand in altering Presidential Results as Declared at the Constituency Level; the IEBC seeks to create a window for elaborate rigging of the Presidential vote by introducing a heavily controlled and fortified “National Tallying Centre” where security agencies will collude with IEBC officials, senior civil servants, Jubilee officials and certain security officials to kick everyone out and declare results whose authenticity cannot be vouched on. This was the scenario in 2007 and we know where it took the country. It also happened again in 2013 and Kenyans have lived with it for the last four years.
• ODM and NASA maintain that the Constituency level is the final level of collating, announcing and declaring presidential results. The law provides that returning officers only announce results from polling stations as collated by presiding officers. It is therefore impossible for one person sitting in Nairobi to purport to be the Returning Officer of the Presidential Vote when he cannot with certainty and practical time collate all results of all presiding officers across the country. This is why we reject the insinuation that the IEBC Chairman is a Returning Officer of the presidential vote. Under which law? Under which constitution?
• We maintain that the Presidential vote must be announced at the Constituency Level and thereafter, anyone can do the math, or the summation of the 290 constituencies and know the winner of the presidential election.
• ODM and NASA maintain that whatever mistakes the Commission would want to correct on the announced results can only be pointed out and corrected at the Polling Station Level where all agents of various political players will be present to take part in the verification and whatever alteration that may be, before the results are submitted to the Constituency Level to be announced and declared by the Constituency Returning Officers.
Pressure on Court of Appeal Judges:
• ODM and NASA is privy to extraneous pressure being piled on judges of the Court of Appeal to divert from this constitutional provision on results declaration to provide for an illegal and unconstitutional entity called the “National Tallying Centre”. This pressure is emanating from Jubilee and senior government officials, including some at the Judiciary itself. This is unacceptable and can only be a recipe for chaos.
• IEBC in Appealing this matter is merely a front for Jubilee Party. You all have seen the bitterness and angry outbursts from the Jubilee Secretary General Mr. Raphael Tuju who has appointed himself the Spokesperson of IEBC.
• You all know that whenever Jubilee and IEBC speak from the same mouth; we are not far from a disaster.
• You all will recall the circus that national tallying was in 2013 where IEBC commissioners would come on national TV, announce and declare cooked results and when challenged deploy the security apparatus to intimidate then CORD agents. This mischief is what the law cured and corrected by declaring the Constituency Level as the final level for declaring presidential results.
ODM and NASA not intimidating IEBC or the Judiciary:
• We have heard statements from certain quarters that ODM and NASA should stop threats and intimidating IEBC or the Judiciary. We want Kenyans to know that NASA is raising the fundamental issues that go to the core of a free, fair, credible and therefore PEACEFUL electoral outcome. • A rigged election has no cure. Its aftermath can be costly to a country and therefore it is better to treat the symptoms now. • We urge IEBC to move away from reopening old wounds and focus on the all-important task of voter verification and other aspects of preparation of the August General Elections.