Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 07 Jul 2017 17:49 EAT
The National Super Alliance (NASA) has termed today's High Court ruling compelling the IEBC to cancel the Al Ghurair tender for the presidential ballot as a gift of extraordinary magnitude to Kenya’s electoral transparency and fairness.
NASA in a statement released by Salim Lone, Adviser, NASA Presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga urged IEBC to convene a meeting of all presidential candidates on the way forward, including helping it identify a credible printer capable of meeting the deadlines for the election.
“There could not have been a greater democratic gift to Kenyans on Saba Saba Day, which NASA Presidential flag bearer hailed this afternoon as marking the Second Liberation’s final journey out of political oppression”, said Mr Lone.
NASA’s statement followed the High Court ruling that ordered the electoral commission to advertise a new tender for printing presidential poll ballots. However, Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company will proceed with the printing of ballots for other races, judges Joel Ngugi, John Mativo and George Odunga said today.
In their judgement, the judges faulted IEBC for failing to consult all candidates in the August poll before awarding the Sh2.5-billion tender to Al Ghurair. The commission, the three-judge bench established, also did a shoddy job on public participation as required in law.
Mr Lone on his part said the ruling coming on the heels of the previous landmark court decision that the results declared at polling stations were final and cannot be changed, constitutes a serious rebuke of the IEBC.
He urged IEBC to champion people’s democratic rights and ensure maximum protection for their votes so that Kenyans’ choice for the leaders they want to guide them is fully honored.
He lashed out at the commission, saying instead, the IEBC has consistently been less transparent, less democratic and less consultative than is expected of an electoral body.
Equally, this ruling, he said is an indictment of sections of the media which repeatedly argued that NASA’s court challenge threatened to delay the 8th August election. Indeed, this court case was used to claim that NASA was not ready for the election and was trying to delay it, he added.
“After these two judicial setbacks to IEBC, we urge it to commit itself to a new and more open relationship with the public and political parties and candidates.
“It should open a new chapter in which it should make every possible effort between now and election day to ensure that we have a free, fair and transparent election”, he said.