RAILA ODINGA EXPOSES IEBC OVER BALLOT PRINTING
No sooner had the presidential ballot papers arrived in the country, than a fresh row broke between the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Odinga, through his chief legal advisor Paul Mwangi, who was part of the stakeholders at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to witness the arrival of the ballot papers, raised issues regarding the statutory results declaration forms.
According to the Azimio flagbearer, his two representatives during a tour of Inform Lykos printing plant in Greece, established that IEBC had two books of Form 34A, that are used to tabulate presidential poll results at the polling stations.
The books were labelled as Book One of Two and Book Two of Two.
Though the team of IEBC commissioners in the Greece tour, led by Vice Chair Julianna Cherera explained to the delegation that extra Form 34As were needed in each of the 46,229 polling stations to avail copies to election observers, media and other stakeholders, the Azimio team rejected the explanation.
According to Odinga’s team, the two books were separate entities with distinct security features, posing the danger of different results being entered in one polling station.
However, a source at the commission downplayed Azimio’s concerns, and told Citizen TV that each booklet has six copies of the results declaration forms and would be insufficient, if each stakeholder was to receive a copy.
The Returning Officer retains the original copy, a copy is packed together with ballot papers in the ballot box after counting, each of the presidential candidates is entitled to a copy, with another copy being pasted at the polling station’s door for public display of results. Media personnel and election observers will also receive copies of the results declaration form.
The Azimio team is also seeking an explanation from IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati on the commission’s failure to order for printing of forms 34B, that are used to tabulate presidential election results at the constituency level.
This, Odinga’s team says, is contrary to election regulations and puts the presidential poll’s integrity at risk.
The commission however insists that there was no need of printing the forms since they would be automatically generated once results from polling stations were keyed in by the returning officer at the constituency tallying centre.
Odinga now wants Chebukati to convene a meeting between IEBC and the presidential contenders to deliberate on the results declaration forms, ahead of the State House race that is 12 days away.
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