Kenya: Kenyan poll chief meets with presidential candidates over deadlock

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) – The deadlock over the holding of a fresh presidential election on 26 Oct. appeared to deepen on Tuesday, after the opposition alliance said it made no progress in addressing the key demands it considered crucial to creating a level playing field for the conduct of the vote.

“None of the issues we raised as irreducible minimum have been met from the meeting we have had,” said James Orengo, the legal counsel of the main opposition alliance, after the talks with the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Commissioners.

The opposition insisted it would not participate in the repeat election following the decision of the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the 8 August presidential election, unless top IEBC managers complicit in its irregularities and illegalities are fired and security features enhanced on result forms.

The opposition alliance also wants key suppliers of the election material to be changed and had wanted a French firm, OT-Morpho, replaced from being the supplier of the election results transmission software and hardware, insisting it was part of a plot to rig the polls in favour of its rivals.

“If we go the route set by the IEBC, the repeat election would not be held in accordance with the Supreme Court order and the applicable law,” Orengo told reporters at the Bomas of Kenya, where the IEBC Commissioners met presidential candidates to discuss preparations for the poll.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was represented at the talks by Deputy President William Ruto, who told reporters the ruling party was pleased with the preparations for the election and had full confidence in IEBC officials.

“We have the institutions with the responsibility to manage the matters of concern,” Ruto said.
“We have no conditions and no irreducible minimum conditions. We are ready for the election and we are confident we have the men and women with the capacity to manage this election.”

The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) said recently that a French firm, OT-Morpho, signed a single-sourced contract with the IEBC for US$240 million to provide electoral technology management system for the Oct. presidential election in what it called an “expensive fraud on the taxpayer."

Speaking after holding talks with the presidential candidates, including Raila Odinga and members of NASA, IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati said details of the contract with the IEBC would be made public.

He said the electoral body was prepared to make changes in line with the election laws, and the IEBC would also reset its technology to transmit the results in accordance with the election laws.

-0- PANA AO/AR 3Oct2017

03 october 2017 17:53:54

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