6 March 2013

Kenya: You'll Know Kenya's Next President Friday - IEBC

Photo: Nichole Sobecki/USAID
Uhuru Kenyatta taking an early lead in the general election (file photo).

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now says that it expects to release the final presidential tally on Friday morning. IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan however reminded Kenyans that the commission was allowed by law up to seven days - until Monday - after the day of voting, to announce the results.

He added that the commission had so far physically received the results from 140 Returning Officers and expected the remaining 150 to make their way to the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya by Thursday. "I would like to say that early on Friday we should be able to conclude this exercise. However, if there are any problems or delays, remember we can still go on to Monday," he cautioned.

He added that the commission had difficulties tallying results from Mombasa and Nairobi Counties due to the large number of voters. Hassan also admitted that the commission had experienced a system failure and decided to entirely rely on the manual tallying. He further absolved network provider Safaricom of any blame.

He explained that the commission had not adequately trained its staff on the new systems, which was also to blame for the malfunctions. "It was an in-house failure on the part of the system which we developed; a failure on the part of the configuration of the phones and lack of proper training for the staff who were supposed to use the phones," he said.

The commission had been having serious delays in relaying provisional results since Tuesday afternoon, giving room for speculation. Although there were reports that the server being used to transmit the results crashed Hassan vigorously denied this claim. He further maintained that the commission was making every effort to ensure that the final results were relayed in good time. "The fact that we have now abandoned the electronic transmission of votes does not in any way mean that the integrity of the results being released is compromised," he assured.

Hassan once again reminded political agents and party leaders to observe the code of conduct saying that any disputes that arise should be forwarded to the courts. Some of the agents at one point heckled an IEBC commissioner who was releasing some of the results that had been audited. Politicians from the Jubilee and CORD alliances kept claiming that the IEBC had not verified the results yet their agents signed form 36, which is used to confirm all votes cast and their outcome at the polling centre.

"This code of conduct requires them to accept authority of the commission and the results of the elections. It also requires them to use the legal channels to address any disputes and to campaign peacefully before, during and after the elections," he said.

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