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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Win for NASA as Appeals courts rules for constituency presidential results

Court of Appeal judges during the delivery of a ruling on presidential results announced at constituency level, June 23, 2017. /COURTESY
Court of Appeal judges during the delivery of a ruling on presidential results announced at constituency level, June 23, 2017. /COURTESY

Presidential results will be announced at constituency level, the Court of Appeal has ruled, saying the IEBC "must be above suspicion to command respect from Kenyans".

Judge William Ouko noted on Friday that it is inconceivable for results announced at this level to be reviewed by the IEBC sitting in Nairobi.

"It is hypocritical for the appellant [IEBC] to doubt the honesty of its own staff [and give this as] the reason to verify the results," he said.

Ouko noted returning officers are most critical and that constituency level results can only be final given the elaborate safeguards.

"The poling station is the true locus of the expression of the peoples' will and should not be exposed to risk of variation. The IEBC has the duty to make sure employees pass the integrity test," he said.

"Accuracy is fundamental in every election. It is the mandate for the IEBC to deliver a free and fair election."

Other judges who presided over the appeal were Patrick Kiage and Agnes Murgor.

This is a win for NASA, whose bosses threatened in May to boycott the election if the appeal by the electoral agency sailed through.

The IEBC disputed a ruling by the High Court which stated results announced at constituency tallying centres would be used to determine winners.

But National Super Alliance leaders said they would not accept an overturned ruling.

The coordinating committee led by James Orengo told the electoral agency to withdraw the petition challenging the High Hourt decision on tallying.

More on this: NASA threatens to boycott polls if ruling on tallying is overturned

Also read: Presidential poll results declared at constituency tallying centre final - court

During the 2013 battle in the Supreme Court, Cord sought to prove that polling station results were altered at Bomas of Kenya which was the national tallying centre.

Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo played videos of the announcements of presidential results in some counties, which she said differed from those announced by the electoral commission and reflected in Form 36.

She said, for example, Uhuru Kenyatta garnered 317,881 votes in Nyeri county, which was announced by the county returning officer. However, at Bomas of Kenya, the IEBC gave Uhuru 318,880 votes — an extra 999 ballots.

Raila scored 6,075 votes as announced at the county level but that tally was reduced to 5,638 by the IEBC.

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