Cord in new battle with IEBC for ‘violating’ electoral laws
‘One can only conclude the commission is hellbent on mutilating the new laws’
Cord has opened a new battlefront against the IEBC accusing it of violating the spirit of the newly enacted electoral laws.
In a letter to IEBC chief Ezra Chiloba, the opposition lists four grounds to prove the commission is allegedly acting with impunity.
Cord secretariat CEO Norman Magaya accused the commission of advocating the amendment of the law based on what he termed “pretentious propositions”.
“In a nutshell and vide this letter, we officially wish to register our displeasure with the manner in which the commission is executing its functions and warn that the coalition will not hesitate to deploy both political and extrapolitical as well as legal and extralegal measures to stamp out this impunity,” he said.
On October 26, IEBC communications manager Andrew Limo told the Star the commission is satisfied with the new laws.
He dismissed Cord’s claims that the IEBC had secretly sponsored suits in the High Court to nullify several key sections of the electoral laws.
“We have no problem with the new laws. When it raises the budget, it’s the National Treasury’s responsibility to bridge the gap. When it gives no room for political party nominations disputes, it’s the parties themselves that must mitigate the challenge,” Limo said.
But in their letter dated October 3, the Raila Odinga-led coalition said the IEBC wants to water down the level of the audit of the voter register.
During negotiations on electoral reforms, the team agreed to hire “a reputable professional firm” to conduct a forensic audit of the register.
Cord also rubbished the draft ICT regulations developed by the IEBC, saying they fall way below the standard envisaged in law.
“One can only conclude that the commission is hellbent on mutilating the new laws. In their current form, the draft regulations substantively water down the provisions set out in law both in letter and in spirit,”Magaya said.
Cord also took issue with the IEBC’s procurement of key electoral materials before new commissioners are installed, terming it illegal.
The commission has began the multibillion-shilling procurement of election materials, including ballot papers.
“As it is now, the IEBC has no commissioners after the resignation of the nine officials and therefore the procurement being undertaken lack policy guidance and are therefore laden with illegalities,” Magaya said.
Limo said the tender process conforms to commission-approved work plans. “It’s a lengthy process and we would like to avoid last-minute procurement which was our undoing last time,” he said.
IEBC chief Ezra Chiloba makes a presentation during a Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association and National assembly retreat in Mombasa on August 19