IEBC hints at postponing polls in regions with pending cases

Written by on 20 July 2022

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday warned that it may be forced to postpone elections in areas with pending court cases.

Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has since urged courts to adjudicate the cases to enable them print ballot papers, saying late judgments have a bearing on the cost of elections.

“Decisions of the court coming late have a direct impact on our timelines and cost. There are serious consequences when the cases are not completed in time,” he said.

His warning came even as IEBC said that embattled former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has not served them with any court order either from the Supreme Court or East African Court of Justice.

Yesterday, Chebukati said its legal team would review the implications of Sonko’s move to the Arusha-based court if Kenya can enforce orders from the court.

“We have not been served any orders as yet. Court orders must be obeyed. On the issue of Sonko, I am not sure if we can effect the orders but we will ask our legal team to give us a correct interpretation,” said Chebukati. He was speaking yesterday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IEBC and Kenya Media Sector Working Group on Media Guidelines on management of elections reporting.

Chebukati reiterated that the media would have access to all elections results.

Under the MoU, media houses, coordinating committees, accredited representatives and journalists will have the duty to provide independent, impartial, responsible and professional reporting of the electoral processes and conduct of elections. 

The media is also expected to report accurately in relation to election management and results received from polling stations, constituency, county and national tallying centres. On result management protocol, the guidelines state that the commission will provide the media with information relating to elections preparation including the register of voters in agreed electronic format, voter registration data segregated by county, constituency, ward and polling station in excel format.

Tallying centres

IEBC shall also provide polling station data, names and addresses of all constituencies, county and national election tallying centres and electoral maps.

Polls agency will also provide regular, accurate information to the media in relation to the election process.

“Without limit to generality of this provision, the commission shall provide information during the following intervals; distribution of election materials, deployment of polling staff and readiness of polling stations on or about 8pm on the eve of the day designated for conduct of polls,” the guidelines provides.

Commission shall also provide the media with full information in relation to the electronic transmission of election results and declarations. 

Election results shall include those declared by Presiding Officers both on the Result Declaration Forms and electronically transmitted results, reports of results based on real-time transmission, tabulation, collation, announcement or declaration of results at the constituency and county tallying centres and in particular or physical result forms.

Commission shall, in accordance with the Elections Act, 2011 declare polling station results, tabulated constituency results, county results and presidential results using the Statutory Forms provided under the Elections (General) Regulations 2012 as revised.

Commission shall employ the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System to identify voters and electronically transmit election results.

“Commission and its officers shall ensure the results declared are accurate and verifiable. Media representatives shall have access to and obtain declared results and copies of Result Declaration Forms from polling stations Presiding Officers, constituency Returning Officers, county Returning Officers and officers at the National Tallying Centres.”

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