After the court ruling, we should not dither
Posted Tuesday, July 31 2012 at 20:10
The Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld the ruling that the next General Election be held on March 4. This puts to rest the question of whether the polls should be held in December this year, or as some were mischievously plotting, August next year.
Although the new Constitution clearly stipulates that elections should be held on the second Tuesday of August every five years, this was successfully contested in court on the basis of the fact that it would cut short the term of Parliament.
Indeed, with the benefit of hindsight, the Constitution should have provided a transitional clause regarding the first elections to eliminate the controversies that have since arisen.
But now the Appellate Court has clarified matters. Subsequently, the processes leading to the elections must be executed as provided for in law.
For instance, the regulations provide that public servants seeking elective posts must leave office six months prior to the elections. That means they have to resign by the end of this month.
Also, candidates ought to have stopped fundraising by Tuesday, while voter registration should begin this month.
But the most important question is: how well is the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission prepared for the elections?
Currently, the IEBC is embroiled in a row over procurement of voter registration equipment, which does not augur well for the preparation of the elections. Indeed, it is this confusion that has emboldened some shadowy schemers to plot for August elections.
Time is running out fast and the IEBC and others involved in preparing and conducting the elections must set in motion the processes that will guarantee a free and fair polls.