IEBC OPPOSES SUIT ON POSTPONEMENT OF NEXT YEAR’S POLLS.

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BY SAM ALFAN.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has opposed a petition by former nominated senator seeking the postponement of the 2022 General Election.

Through acting Deputy Secretary and Director Finance Obadiah Keitany, the commission said the timelines set by the constitution and Election Act cannot be varied or extended by any court.

He further added that the presidential election cannot be separated from other elections including members of parliament, governors and member of County assembly, as they should be held on the same day.

The court heard that an amendment to extend the term of president can only be done through parliament according to the Article 255(1)(f) of the constitution.

“The presidential election scheduled for August 9, 2022 cannot be isolated from the general elections to be conducted in respect of the nomination and elections on other elective seats,” Keitany said in an affidavit.

While opposing the petition by nominated senator Paul Njoroge Ben, IEBC told the court that the former legislator has deliberately distorted or failed to disclose material facts inorder to mislead the court.

“The applicant has failed to attain the threshold to warrant grant of the orders sought,” the commission says.

On the issue of failing to have a substantive Chief Executive Officer, the commission blamed various court orders, which blocked the recruitment.

According to the Chebukati led commission, efforts to recruit CEO were thwarted by a series of court injunctions which restrained it from proceeding with the process.

“The procedure to recruit the commission CEO is anchored in law and the commission will be guided by the law in appointing its Chief Executive Officer,” Keitany added.

Keitany revealed the commission currently has a qualified acting Chief Executive Officer and a challenge on the date of General election is not basis to grant of the orders to halt the preparation for the general election.

The commission says it had a requisite quorum when it issued a gazette notice on the directive on spending limits by various candidates during election.

IEBC also argue that that former nominated senator failed to demonstrate how the commission has violated or any law in the process of procuring of election material to warrant the grant of the orders sought.

The commission argues that in any event the process of procurement is executed by the commission’s secretariat and that Njoroge has failed to provide a basis for the order seeking to halt the procurement of election material for purposes of the General Election.

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