IEBC scenarios for 2017 include Armageddon
Electoral body to use document to prepare response to different possible outcomes.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has drawn up eight possible post-General Election scenarios, including the likelihood of conducting three Presidential elections in five months.
In a strategy document seen by the Star, the electoral agency says one scenario is the possibility of a Presidential runoff followed by a successful petition at the Supreme Court.
The IEBC considers this the worstcase scenario, as it would see the political temperature hit melting point.
Dubbed “The Road to Armageddon”, the strategy paper covers operations from the period prior to the August 8, 2017, polls until the end of the maximum period it takes for the eventual winner of the contest to be declared – December 11, 2017. This is the 54th Jamhuri Day Eve. “The political environment will be charged, especially during the petition hearing. The Supreme Court will be tested again,” the IEBC wrote in the confidential document.
According to the Armageddon timelines, the first Presidential results are expected to be declared by August 15, 2017. If there is no automatic winner, a rerun will be held by September 7, 2017.
The results of the rerun are expected by September 14, 2017, with the possibility that the results could again be challenged in court as was done by opposition chief Raila Odinga in the first round in 2013.
A petition would then be filed by September 21, and the Supreme Court expected to make its verdict within 14 days.
If the Presidential petition succeeds, fresh elections will be held by December 4, 2017, and the eventual winner unveiled by December 11.
“There will be confusion in the political space in terms of who will run the fresh election,” the document says, assuming the current IEBC commissioners are not forced out of office.
The term of the current nine commissioners led by Issack Hassan ends in November 2017, but some have expressed their willingness to voluntarily hang up their boots before then.
However, some Jubilee Coalition lawmakers have insisted only commissioners found culpable of any wrongdoing should be kicked out.
A second scenario, which IEBC has termed “The Last Battle”, will see the Supreme Court handle the Presidential petition twice.
This would be possible if the highest court in the land nullifies the first Presidential results – triggering a second vote. However, even after the second vote, a fresh petition could be filed at the Supreme Court challenging the new outcome.
“A petition upon a petition would completely leave the IEBC with zero credibility! Any positive legacy would be forgotten,” the document states.
Scenario Three is what the IEBC calls “Snake In The Grass”, where there is a possibility of a rerun followed by a Presidential petition which is upheld by the Supreme Court.
“A rerun in itself may not be a
SCENARIO THREE IS WHAT THE IEBC CALLS “SNAKE IN THE GRASS”, WHERE THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF A RERUN FOLLOWED BY A PRESIDENTIAL PETITION WHICH IS UPHELD BY THE SUPREME COURT.
major issue to the parties concerned. There will be new alignments in the political space. Although parties will be wary of a petition after secondround elections,” the IEBC says.
According to the Constitution, only the first and the second Presidential contender will faceoff in a rerun, meaning that other candidates will have to throw their weight behind the top two.
A candidate shall be declared elected as President if he receives more than half of all the votes cast in the election and at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in each of more than half of the counties.
Some opinion polls have recently suggested that Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta could be headed for a rerun in the 2017 polls.
However, in 2013, Uhuru was declared winner with 50.07 per cent of the vote against Raila, the Cord flagbearer, who garnered 43.31 per cent.
The fourth scenario is where a Presidential petition succeeds, fresh elections are held within 30 days and the Supreme Court upholds results in the subsequent petition.
The electoral agency also anticipates a fifth scenario, where the Presidential contest is finished in Round One and there is no petition. The IEBC, whose confidence level nosedived after the 2013 polls, says this would be their ideal situation.
“This is a good place to be for the Commission. The assumption is that everyone is happy and the matter is closed. It will finally slay the 2013 ghost,” the commissioners reckon.
Raila and his team have maintained that the IEBC rigged the 2013 polls in favour of Uhuru and have been on a massive crusade to kick out the electoral chiefs.
The other possibility, Scenario Six, is a replica of the 2013 situation, where the Supreme Court upholds the results of the first Presidential poll. The IEBC says this would exonerate them of any wrongdoing, instead of turning the spotlight on the Supreme Court.
“The Commission is vindicated but the Supreme Court comes under attack. But the fact another petition is filed in itself means that the legacy of the Commission will be at stake,” the Armageddon document said.
The IEBC has called the seventh possibility “The Cleansing”. Here, the Presidential petition at the Supreme Court succeeds, a new election is held, and the outcome of the second vote is accepted.
In the last scenario, which the IEBC has christened “Sleeping Giants”, the Commission anticipates a runoff, but with none of the parties involved moving to the Supreme Court.
Commissioners Yusuf Nzibo, Albert Bwire, Kule Galma Godana and Abdullahi Sharawe have written to President Kenyatta declaring their readiness to quit. The other five have remained adamant.
IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan, vice chair Lilian Mahiri Zaja, commissioners Thomas Letangule, Abdullahi Sharawe, and Albert Camus Onyango after a meeting with the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee at Parliament on May 18, 2016.