IEBC agrees to some of Nasa’s demands

Wednesday October 11 2017

Raila Odinga

Nasa's Raila Odinga speaks at the Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi on October 10, 2017. He and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka withdrew from the October 26 repeat presidential election. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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The electoral agency on Tuesday answered the opposition Nasa on its ‘irreducible minimums’, conceding to access to servers and a requirement to have all results forms to be sent concurrently with the text results.

However, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) refused to change the poll technology provider, French-based OT-Morpho, and the presidential elections ballot paper printer, Dubai-based Al-Ghurair Printing Company, citing time constraints and possibility of modifications.

WITHDRAWAL

The October 10 letter sent to Nasa chief executive Norman Magaya, however, might have come a little too late following Mr Raila Odinga’s Tuesday dramatic withdrawal from the October 26 repeat presidential elections, and demand for fresh nominations and a new poll within 90 days.

In his withdrawal, Mr Odinga blamed what he said was IEBC’s failure to address the coalition’s concerns in its 12-point ‘irreducible minimums.’

In the letter, the IEBC also turned down a demand by the Raila Odinga-led Nasa to fire its Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba, commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu. The landmark Supreme Court ruling that annulled the August 8 poll did not find any IEBC staff or commissioner criminally culpable for the illegalities and irregularities the apex court cited.

FORMS 34A

Besides agreeing to allow candidates to access to its servers to see live results as they stream in, the IEBC also agreed to have agents of the candidates receiving the results forms at the constituency and national tallying centre sit in as they are verified before results are announced.

“The results system has been modified to enable simultaneous transmission of both text results and the corresponding scanned results Forms 34A to the constituency and the national tallying centres,” IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati told Mr Magaya in the letter.

On the ballot papers, the IEBC has said it will standardise the results declaration forms with presiding and returning officers required to ascertain their security features before signing and submitting them.

The electoral team also agreed to share location coordinates of all the 40,883 polling stations as demanded by the Nasa team.

SECURITY

It, however, refused to provide the physical location of its local servers, citing security reasons, while at the same time sticking to its cloud servers despite Nasa’s demands for that not to be an option.

In the letter, Mr Chebukati also declined to hire a fresh team of 290 constituency returning officers, citing time constraints in training a new team.

“Due to limited time, the commission will not be able to recruit, train and deploy [new returning officers] but will use its permanent employees as ROs for accountability purposes,” Mr Chebukati said.