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Thursday, July 27, 2017

New ballot tender not possible in 23 days – IEBC

IEBC Wafula Chebukati.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE
IEBC Wafula Chebukati.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

The electoral agency Friday told the Court of Appeal that it will not be able to procure presidential ballot papers by August 8 should it uphold a decision terminating its contract with Al Ghurair.

The court was similarly warned by Attorney General Githu Muigai that there is no cure for “the profound dominoe effect of skipping the presidential poll because it is a recipe for government shutdown and social anarchy”.

Muigai, in a spirited fight to have last week’s High Court decision cancelling the printing of presidential ballot papers overturned, said the country is likely to plunge into a territory with grave constitutional and political consequences.

“There is no provision in the Constitution that spells out what should happen if a presidential election is not held on August 8,” he said.

Appeal judges Festus Githinji, Otieno Odek, Jamilla Mohamed, Alnassir Visram and Roselyn Nambuye were told that if the IEBC is to follow the orders of the lower court, it will require 50 days to have the much needed voting papers in the country.

The commission, through lawyers Paul Muite, Kamau Karori and Milly Odari, said it will also require 23 days to have a fresh procurement document.

They will also require more time to consult, while the company which will be given the tender will require more time to source the printing materials.

Kamau said it was impossible for the IEBC to kick-start the controversial tender because the printing of presidential ballot papers starts Tuesday next week.

“We will not have presidential ballot papers if we do not start printing on Tuesday as it had been envisaged,” the judges heard.

The lawyer further said the IEBC had invited all presidential candidates and crucial players to monitor the printing and secure delivery of the ballot papers in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

The printing of the ballot papers was to commence on June 22.

But Orengo appearing for NASA maintained the court was justified to invalidate the contract because the IEBC had a predetermined beneficiary.

Jubilee lawyers Fred Ngatia and Ahmednasiir Abdullahi said the orders were contradictory.


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