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All set for Kenya's grand rebirth on Friday

Monday August 23 2010

Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan during a briefing on the Kenya referendum at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, August 4, 2010.  Photo/WILLIAM OERI

Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan during a briefing on the Kenya referendum at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, August 4, 2010. Photo/WILLIAM OERI 

By OLIVER MATHENGE

Kenya's electoral commission has published the official results of the Constitutional referendum, a critical move that clears the way for a grand ceremony to be held on Friday to bring the law into force.

There is no word yet on a case filed last week challenging the referendum and which was initially seen as likely to at the least delay the promulgation. Two Kenyans last Friday went to court challenging the referendum results.

A communications officer at the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), Mr Andrew Limo confirmed the publishing of the results though no details were given.

A source at the Government Printer also confirmed a special edition of the official Kenya Gazette had been issued confirming the final results of the referendum held on August 4.

The IIEC was required by law to wait for a period of 14 days before declaring the results first published on August 6 as final.

Ms Mary Ariviza, an agent for ‘No’, and Mr Okotch Mondoh, went to the Dispute Resolution Court on Friday, the last possible day for challenges to be filed, to stop the August 27 ceremony.

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The move was viewed as a setback to plans to publish the final results of the referendum in the Kenya Gazette at the end of the 14th day, which was last Friday.

If the dispute court clears the petition to proceed to hearing, plans for the promulgation would be put on hold until the case is determined, according to the Constitution of Kenya Review Act, 2008.

Any postponement would present a nightmare for the Government, after a high scale mode of preparation was set in motion to stage a grand ceremony rivalled only by the Independence Day ceremony in 1963 - complete with invitations to heads of State and other foreign dignitaries.

The litigants, who did not appear at the filing last Friday, want an audit of the electronic tallying system to determine its reliability and a fresh recount of all votes.

Another case challenging how the results were published is due for hearing on Monday at the High Court, though all matters relating to the constitution review process are supposed to be handled by the dispute court.