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Supreme Court delivers full judgement on Raila petition

The Supreme Court has concurred with the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Mr Raila Odinga about the loopholes within the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

In its full judgment report on the concluded petition that was seeking to nullify the win of President William Ruto, the court said the government should consider statutory and regulatory framework on the separate policy and administrative remit of IEBC.

It said the electoral commission ought to effect formal internal guidelines that clearly delineate the policy, strategy, and oversight responsibility of the chairperson and other commissioners.

“The role of the chairperson, commissioners, and the Chief Executive Officer, other staff and third parties should be clearly set out in both the legislative and administrative edicts.”

Regarding the election technology, the court said that the access to servers supporting transmission and storage of Form 34A, 34B, and 34C should be restricted to IEBC staff only during the election period, which will avoid suspicion from stakeholders.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the electoral commission should ensure that the servers supporting the elections and those serving their internal administrative work are distinct and separate.

“This would then allow the court, should the need arise to carry out forensic imaging of the same without compromising and/or infringing any third-party agreements.”

The court has also said IEBC should consider simplifying and restructuring Form 34A to include a column that accounts for stray ballots.

In the Azimio petition which was dismissed by the apex court, Mr Odinga had accused the IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati of taking the center stage during the final tally at the Bomas of Kenya and announced the results without the approval of all the seven commissioners.

The court ruled out the matter saying that it was persuaded that IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results in accordance with Article 138 (3) (c) and (10) of the Constitution.

“Moreover, the mandate of tallying and verification of votes is vested in the Commission collectively and the Chairperson cannot exclude any member or members of the Commission. However, the declaration of the Presidential Election result vests exclusively in the Chairperson.”

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