Hope as Jubilee Party, NASA leader Raila Odinga meet IEBC over stalemate

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Hope as Jubilee Party, NASA leader Raila Odinga meet IEBC over stalemate
Hope as Jubilee Party, NASA leader Raila Odinga meet IEBC over stalemate

The Opposition insisted its conditions must be met before the October 26 presidential elections, as talks to end the political stalemate resumed on Tuesday.

NASA principals held a lengthy meeting with poll commissioners, a positive development given last Thursday’s dramatic collapse of talks after the Opposition representatives walked out and declared they would not attend further discussions until Jubilee withdrew a contentious Bill.

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That Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga led their respective delegations into separate talks with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners yesterday, unlike last Thursday when the task was delegated to senior senators on either side, pointed to commitment to resolve the stalemate.

Ruto said Jubilee was satisfied with progress in preparations for the poll, noting the measures put in place by IEBC were satisfactory and that the party expected the next meeting with the electoral officials during announcement of results after elections.

“We are happy with the preparations put in place by IEBC. We don’t have any condition, any irreducible minimum or direction to the commission. We will only come back here to collect our certificate and this time round, we don’t want to be treated to what we saw here last time,” said Ruto.

But the NASA team and IEBC led by chairman Wafula Chebukati failed to agree on the Opposition’s “irreducible minimum” conditions that include sacking of officials blamed for bungling the August 8 poll, hiring of a new ballot paper printing firm and another to provide electronic poll equipment and the shake-up of presiding and returning officers.

Court verdict

NASA and IEBC resolved to form a four-member committee to try and hammer out a compromise, although some issues have been overtaken by events as IEBC has renewed contracts with French firm OT-Morpho to supply an upgraded version of KIEMS and Dubai firm Al Ghurair to print ballot papers.

But IEBC made a concession on a concern raised by NASA over security features for Forms 34B.

Orengo had faulted the commission for preparing Forms 34B that are only standardised on the front page while the second page will be generated by an excel sheet.

This, Orengo argued, was inconsistent with the Supreme Court verdict and applicable laws governing elections.

But Chebukati said that they had listened to NASA’s proposal on the Form 34B and would make the necessary adjustments.

On technology, Chebukati said they were yet to sign a contract with Safaricom and that they would make public the contract signed with OT-Morpho.

IEBC and Jubilee also appeared to have agreed on how to proceed to resolve the concerns by the electoral commission over the changes to electoral laws.

Chebukati said they had been invited to make their presentations to the select committee that is holding public hearings.

“We have been invited by Parliament to make our presentations. Our legal team is working on the responses and we hope to appear tomorrow (today) or Thursday,” said Chebukati. “The commission has had progressive meetings with NASA and Jubilee. We will publish what we have agreed upon,” IEBC tweeted after the meetings.

Chebukati added: “We have had successful meeting with the presidential candidates and we are looking forward to holding other meetings as we prepare for October 26. We hope to meet the two teams jointly.”

Earlier, Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka held a closed-door meeting for over one-and-a-half hours with Chebukati and vice chairperson Consolata Nkatha.

The four later joined the other five commissioners and NASA co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula for a plenary meeting.

However, an insider said Raila told the commission that there would be no election if their demands would not be met.

Later in the afternoon, Ruto led a Jubilee delegation in talks with the IEBC team.

Source link-standardmedia.co.ke

 

Hope as Jubilee Party, NASA leader Raila Odinga meet IEBC over stalemate

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