Additional candidates likely to push up cost of repeat poll

Thursday October 12 2017

Ekuru Aukot

Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot addresses the press on October 11, 2017 after the High Court gave him a go ahead to participate in the fourth coming presidential elections. Additional candidates in the repeat poll likely to push cost of the poll up. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NGIRACHU

The court’s decision to allow Dr Ekuru Aukot and other candidates in the August 8 polls to participate in the repeat presidential election could result in an increase in the cost of the election as well as pushing forward of the date.

This is because the gadgets that are a crucial part of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) would have to be reconfigured to include the names of the additional candidates.

The consequences of having more candidates in the election scheduled for October 26, are stated in the agreement between the poll agency and OT Morpho — the company supplying the poll technology.

The agreement stated as part of its necessary conditions, that the election be on October 26 and that the poll be limited to two candidates, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

RECONFIGURATION

“Due to the limited time frame,” the agreement says, “the system (results transmission system and kits) cannot accept other candidates for this October 26 election.”

The system was also not configured for a second round as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was operating under the assumption that the next election would be a re-run and the candidate with the most votes would be declared the winner.

Reconfiguration of the tablets used at the 40,883 polling stations and the 291 constituency tallying centres would also involve changing the format of the forms 34B.

The kits have been reconfigured to make it possible for forms 34B to have a uniform format.

AGREEMENT

OT Morpho was understood to have hired 400 workers to handle the reconfiguration of the tablets at its warehouse in Nairobi.

With the agreement stating that the electoral agency would be responsible for any extra costs, the commission would have to pay more.

The contract with OT Morpho is worth Sh2.4 billion.

OT Morpho had stated that the provisional results transmitted by the presiding officers via the results transmission system would be consolidated into reports at the constituency level and used to compare with the official forms 34B.