Candidates with pending cases at the political parties disputes tribunal will not have their names on the ballot paper. The decision will affect 40 electoral areas across the country.
“The inter-linkages of processes require that each of the 45,000 Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) kits must be loaded with the names of the candidates from the Ward to the Presidency. This is a time-consuming exercise and any further delays in resolving disputes in the remaining 40 electoral areas could mean that the names of the candidates involved will not appear on the ballot paper,” Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a statement.
“It also means that the transmission of results electronically will be hampered in the affected areas. Rather than risk the realization of the entire polls on August 8th, the Commission has resolved that no further amendments to the candidates list and the register of voters shall be introduced at this stage,” said Chebukati.
Under the law, political parties were required to nominate their candidates and resolve intra-party disputes at least 90 days prior to the Election Day. The Commission was required to register the candidates at least 60 days to the Election Day and a period of 10 days for disputes in resolution. However, a month to the polls disputes continue in Courts and at the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.
Responding to allegations of a poorly done register audit by KPMG, Chebukati said that the body had done a great job of cleaning the register, and that any flaws had been corrected.
“The Commission wishes to clarify that the accuracy of the 2017 Register of Voters has been enhanced by both the outcome of the verification exercise and recommendations from the audit by KPMG. Following the audit of the register by KPMG, the Commission implemented what it considered short-term recommendations for purposes of enhancing the 2017 Register of Voters,” said Chebukati.
The voter verification by use of biometrics was availed from 11 May – 09 June 2017 in the country and in 5 countries in the Diaspora (Burundi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda). A total of 6,893,861 voters were verified using the KIEMS kits. This represents 35% of all registered voters.
On June 27, the Commission announced the certification of the Register of Voters and the same was published in the Kenya Gazette on the same day. This is the final register that will be used for the 2017 election, without any further changes.
Despite the numerous hurdles, especially emanating from procurement processes and the subsequent court orders, Chebukati says the is ready for the August polls.
The commission assured Kenyans that everything is set as planned, despite the court wrangles with the opposition.
“It is worth noting that the Commission has been able to abide by the set timelines. We are determined to recruit and train polling officials, print and distribute ballot papers and other materials, test the technology, and carry out all other critical activities in a timely manner,” he said.
This comes a time when there are still pending cases of party nomination and the tender to Al-Ghurair faces uncertain future as the court makes its ruling today.
The Commission has also put in place an integrated electronic electoral system to govern the process of voter registration, verification and results transmission with an additional feature known as the candidate registration and management system (CRMS). The CRMS is used to register candidates and produce ballot paper proofs.
The Elections Act requires that the register of voters, voter identification system, candidate registration system and results transmission system are all interlinked. The voter identification will be used to authenticate voters, check voter turnout for purposes of results transmission and to stem any election fraud.
Once the cast ballots have been counted, they will be captured and transmitted through the Results Transmission system to a public portal for display. The Integrated electronic system will ensure a secure, verifiable, transparent and reliable electoral system.
The Commission is currently recruiting polling officials in each of the 290 constituencies and 47 counties in preparation of August general elections. “We received over 982,381 applications for 362,858 thousand positions. The officials will be adequately trained to ensure that they are able to manage the election process in accordance with the law,” affirmed Chebukati.
Chebukati has also given political parties up to 24th July, 2017 to submit the names of its national and county chief agents, who will be trained (by IEBC) to ensure that they effectively play their role on 8th August, 2017.