The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has issued a statement after Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga raised questions in regards to key election forms.
In the statement issued by the body’s chair Wafula Chebukati on Thursday, July 28, IEBC invited Raila and the three other presidential candidates for a consultative meeting on Friday.
“The commission has taken note of concerns raised by some of the representatives of Presidential candidates regarding the printing of results forms 34A and 34B,” IEBC’s Commission Secretary Marjan Hussein Marjan said in the statement.
Through his Chief Legal Advisor (CLA) Paula Mwangi, Raila raised concern about the alleged printing of extra key presidential election declaration forms.
“There is no room for the commission to exercise any discretion in this matter. The commission must print Form 34Bs on the same footing it has printed Form 34As,” Mwangi said.
Raila’s CLA further stated that Azimio la Umoja had raised questions when the first batch of ballot papers were received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airpot on Wednesday,
In response, officials from IEBC told Mwangi that the extra ballot papers were necessary for the media and observers.
“It is actually a set of fully fledged form 34A’s complete with all security features similar to those in Book1 and 2,” Mwangi argued.
Under the Election Regulations act, Form 34A is used to tabulate presidential election results from all polling stations in a constituency.
The form is filled by the presiding officer during the tallying of votes at a polling centre before it is handed over to the constituency returning officer who then fills Form 34B.
Early in July, Chebukati dismissed claims by Raila’s coalition that there was a plan to scuttle a free and fair poll by IEBC printing extra ballot papers and sneaking them into the country.
“All ballot papers will come through JKIA. There will be no ballot papers from Uganda,” Chebukati said in a meeting with private sector business leaders.
Chebukati’s statement came after Raila and his allies alleged a plot to rig the elections in favour of their competitor Deputy President William Ruto.
Azimio la Umoja through its staunch supporters Junet Mohamed (Suna East MP), and Hassan Joho (Mombasa Governor) accused Senator Moses Wetang’ula of holding clandestine meetings with Chebukati as part of the plot.
However, Chebukati dismissed the assertions that IEBC was under the siege of powerful forces, restating that the commission is independent and is guided by the law.
“IEBC is an independent institution. We are not directed by any individual or institution. You may be unhappy with us but as long as we are following the law, we are not worried,” he said.