Accusations discrediting the electoral body by a number of disgruntled political parties increased.
KANU, the losing Party in Kericho by-election led by its Chairman Baringo Senator Gideon Moi claimed that a group of experts employed by the party to probe the by election outcome, revealed massive discrepancies occasioned by use of technology which manipulated the outcome. They said that the IEBC relayed results wired to its servers by Jubilee Party (JP) which had been manipulated to inflate the figures of the eventual winner Aaron Cheruiyot.
In a rejoinder, IEBC dismissed claims by KANU. According to the IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, the Commission had not received any complaint of either electoral malpractice or misconduct, from the party, as required under the procedures of the Elections Act. Chiloba said the only concern raised by KANU on the night of the elections was that the results – which we understood to be provisional results – were coming in too fast. Chiloba said the Commission is in the process of compiling the report of the by-elections.
How will IEBC guard against such allegations in the coming elections?
15th March: Voter Registration – The February/March mass voter registration (MVR) missed the target by 70% as the commission managed to register slightly under 1 million out of the expected 4 million. To say that was a dismal performance is an understatement. Their reason for failing to meet the target was the usual excuse of insufficient funds. Meaning the Ksh. 500 million given to them was not enough to register all eligible voters.
28th March: Okoa Kenya Referendum – The opposition coalition –CORD-, push to change the Constitution collapsed in March when the electoral commission ruled that they had failed to get one million signatures necessary to force a referendum. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared that only 891,598 signatures out of the 1.6 million submitted by Cord, had been found to be authentic.
Apparently, the names rejected were those not found in the voters register. Some records had signatures but without ID or passport numbers while others had just names and no other entries. In total, the verifiers found that 741,979 of the 1,633,577 submitted had failed to meet the threshold authenticating only 891,598 of the signatures as valid.
Constitutional amendments can only happen through a referendum if it is supported by at least one million registered voters which the Okoa Kenya Initiative did not attain. A proposed constitutional amendment initiative can only be tabled before county assemblies if the IEBC has verified the signatures accompanying the proposed amendment and is satisfied that the amendment initiative is in accordance with the law.
The rejection of Okoa Kenya worsened the already grim relationship between the Opposition coalition and the electoral body. As a result, the Opposition has criminalized the institution among its supporters. Can the IEBC regain its credibility?
The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) begun a month long voter registration exercise set to end on 15th March. Over the period, the Commission hoped to register 4 million voters.
The Chicken gate scandal involved Smith & Ouzman, a British firm that specializes in printing of security documents like ballot papers and exam certificates. The company allegedly paid bribes to Kenya’s Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya (IIEC) and the Kenyan National Examination Council (KNEC) officials between 2006 and 2013. Will the lingering integrity issues affect IEBC’s credibility? Read our blog here.
Admittedly, regions where leaders called on people to register had impressive results but that was partly because leaders from these regions claimed IEBC was not fully in control of the exercise and accused the government of interferences.
The argument over voter apathy also holds little water as most eligible voters were turned away for having old generation ID cards when IEBC should have foreseen that challenge and acted proactively to ensure nobody was turned away. In other cases, there were fewer Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits prompting some individuals to make unsubstantiated allegations over favoritism by the IEBC.
Read our blog assessing the voter registration (here)
Twenty months before the 2017 General elections, politicians have started evoking political temperatures and subjecting the country to unnecessary tension. (Read More)
Party Hopping Sanctioned :Parliamentarians pushed the office of the Registrar of Political Parties, to delete the Political Parties Clause that prevents party hopping. The deletion would allow Parliamentarians to campaign and support ideologies of other Parties that sponsored them to Parliament without the risk of losing their seats. Will their request make it into the proposed amendments to the Political Parties Act?