IEBC sce­nar­ios for 2017 in­clude Ar­maged­don

Elec­toral body to use doc­u­ment to pre­pare re­sponse to dif­fer­ent pos­si­ble out­comes.

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - BY FELIX OLICK @olick­fe­lix

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.

/ HEZRON NJOROGE

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.

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