•Concern is that the second book has separate and distinct serial numbering.
•Candidates fear the extra book could stage parallel results declaration.
IEBC has Friday called the four presidential contenders for talks to discuss concerns by poll stakeholders about the printing of excess Form34As to be used in next month’s general election.
The meeting at the Bomas of Kenya will also discuss concerns that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is not printing Form34B - into which presidential results from constituencies are tallied.
“The commission has taken note of concerns raised by some of the representatives of presidential candidates regarding the printing of result forms 34A and 34B,” IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan said in a letter to the candidates.
The letter has been addressed to Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga, UDA's William Ruto, George Wajackoyah of Roots Party, and David Mwaure of Agano Party.
“The purpose of this letter is to invite you and/or your representative to a consultative meeting to address concerns raised on Friday, July 29 at the Bomas of Kenya at 11am,” Marjan said.
The meeting followed a complaint by both Raila and Ruto that the IEBC, which has contracted Greek firm Inform Lykos, was irregularly printing two sets of Form34As, each set containing one original and five carbon copies.
“Book 2 of 2 from which it is alleged copies for stakeholders will be obtained is more than just a copy. It is actually fully-fledged Form 34As complete with all security features similar to those in Book 1 of 2,” Azimio chief legal adviser Paul Mwangi said in a letter to the IEBC.
Raila’s team is apprehensive that the second book could be used as a substitute "as it satisfies every requirement of electoral laws and regulations."
Raila and Ruto have closed ranks on the issue, with UDA saying its representatives openly opposed the printing of the second set of Form34A.
“In our view, the commission should stick to one set of Form34A,” UDA secretary general Veronica Maina said in a letter to IEBC.
She said the commission should “clear the air as to why there is the need to print a second set of Form34A.”
Their concern is that the second book has separate and distinct serial numbering, thus “a separate and parallel result declaration form”.
The two opposing sides are also concerned that the polls agency is not printing Form 34Bs saying in the letter to IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati that the IEBC has not given satisfactory answers to their inquiries.
IEBC earlier said the extra Form 34As were needed at each polling station as there was a need to give a copy to observers, media, and other stakeholders.
On Form34B, IEBC held that the “form will generate itself when results are keyed in”, a position Mwangi said amounted to an irregularity.
Irregularities in the use of statutory declaration forms was among the grounds which the Supreme Court nullified the 2017 presidential election.
“Form 34B is provided for under the Election (General) Regulations, 2017, with its format spelled in the schedule of forms,” Mwangi said.
Both Azimio and UDA say that the IEBC needs only six original Form 34As for the presidential election – for national returning officer, one for each candidate, and one to be sealed inside the ballot boxes with other materials.
“Everything else can be filled out as copies on any form of stationery. It is, therefore, very disturbing that the commission thought it necessary to print another book of original Form 34As,” Mwangi said.
For the candidates, Form34B is a security document the law demands must have a serial number that is printed on the form beforehand.
“In all elections, Form34B has been printed with similar security features as Form34A. There is no room for the IEBC to exercise any discretion in this matter,” Mwangi said.