IEBC lose appeal as court rules Presidential results to be declared at constituency level

Court of Appeal judges during the delivery of a ruling on presidential results announced at constituency level. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA:  Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,IEBC on Friday lost a major appeal after the Court of appeal ruled that Presidential results are to be declared at the constituency level by the returning officer.

This comes after IEBC had  opposed an earlier High Court ruling that also ruled in favour of results being announced at the constituency level.

United Nations special rapporteur Maina Kiai together with Khelef Khalifa and Tirop Kitur had challenged IEBC’s mandate to verify presidential election results announced at the constituency level.

A 5-judge bench at the  Court of Appeal  upheld the initial ruling, saying that  the declaration of the presidential results is not a one man show and that IEBC  must be above suspicion to command respect from Kenyans.

“It is hypocritical for the appellant (IEBC) to doubt the honesty of its own staff and give this as the reason to verify the results,” said Judge William Ouko.

Despite recording a major win with the ruling, a section of NASA leaders have downplayed the decision by high court judge George Odunga who earlier declined to suspend ballot papers printing awarded to Dubai firm Al Ghurair.

In an event held in Nairobi that hosted leaders of Wiper Democratic Movement, Governor Evans Kidero  said that the judiciary is disassociating itself from suspending the tender issue, that is marred with mistrust from opposition side.

“Judge Odunga ruling on the interim order that the printing should go on is a very unfortunate thing.” said Kidero.

The Nairobi governor added that  IEBC and the Judiciary are two independent institutions that need not favor any side at any given time.

Nairobi senatorial candidate for Orange Democratic Movement, ODM Edwin Sifuna on the other hand stated that, if the ballot papers are printed by the Al-ghurair firm then election will not be regarded as free and fair elections.

Sifuna who is also a lawyer, noted that the NASA coalition will be having a meeting to determine the way forward on the matter.

This comes barely after Justice George Odunga ruled on Friday 23rd, that NASA failed to convince the court that the temporary orders were necessary.

Odunga ordered that the file be immediately taken to Chief Justice David Maraga for him to constitute a three-judge bench for the hearing of the dispute scheduled on Tuesday next week.