IEBC UNDER FIRE AS OSWAGO RESPONDS TO ‘JICHO PEVU’ TAPE

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NAIROBI, KENYA: A bitter row has erupted between CORD and Jubilee over a tape recording of a conversation believed to involve a senior electoral official alleging that last year’s presidential election was flawed.

And suspended Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer James Oswago Monday denied knowledge of a conspiracy to fix the March 4, 2013 presidential vote.

“I believe with all my heart that there was no conspiracy at whatever level within the commission to confer or deny advantage to any presidential candidate. If there was such conspiracy, I was not aware and never became part of it,” Mr Oswago said in a statement sent to newsrooms Monday, following the airing of the recording in a KTN investigative exposé into the validity of the polls.

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Oswago denied claims that the credibility of the IEBC was in question saying the election commission was not without fault.

The IEBC, he added, has admitted that the Electronic Result Transmission and Electronic Voter Identification systems underperformed vis-a-vis expectations but the commission however, did not compromise the results.

Oswago said he believed the recording was a conspiracy to harm or injure him or his career, and restated that from his point of view and full conviction, IEBC did a commendable job given the circumstances, in discharging its mandate in good faith.

Jubilee and CORD MPs however, have clashed over claims that the election was flawed and CORD has demanded for the disbandment of IEBC. CORD has backed the contents of the KTN exposé while Jubilee vehemently denies the piece, which implies that the outcome of the polls was compromised.

FAIR ELECTIONS

“It is no secret that IEBC did not conduct fair national elections. They allowed themselves to be used to rig elections in 2013. They must not allow themselves to be used again as conduits for personal gain,” said Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o (ODM).

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed (ODM) said that it was very clear that the “elections were marred with irregularities and malpractice” and accused IEBC of failing to meet the requirements of the Constitution in conducting a free, transparent and fair election.

“IEBC must be disbanded and the commissioners must now go. They have lost the moral ground to conduct any future elections,” the ODM MP said, adding that his sentiments are shared by the opposition leaders.

But National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale warned those plotting to eject the IEBC chiefs that Jubilee will not allow it and exonerated the commission from any blame for CORD’s loss.

Mr Duale said it would be unfair to target the referee every time a team loses while likening the election exercise to a football match, and adding that the coach has to take responsibility for a loss and not the referee.

He told CORD to go back to the drawing board and re-examine their strategy instead of crying foul.-standardmedia.co.ke

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