Ezra Chiloba explains looming battle with NASA over presidential elections results

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC ) CEO Ezra Chiloba has said the move to appeal the court ruling giving returning officers the power to declare presidential results at constituency and polling station levels is motivated by the need to have clarity and minimise confusion in managing general elections.

The electoral agency has termed the ruling by the High Court as an error while NASA wants it upheld and effected. Mr Chiloba said the court has failed to make critical considerations in delivering the judgement and the commission had found avenues to appeal for retraction of the ruling within elections laws stipulated in the constitution.

“The court did not make some consideration in making the judgement and we appealed so that there is clarity in the management of elections,” said Chiloba in a call on a TV interview on Tuesday night.

The Opposition camp, NASA has argued that the IEBC chairman should declare election results as received from returning officers manning constituencies as they are while the commission holds on to having verification done first before the chairperson declares presidential results and that the returning officers can only announce winners.

Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed challenged Mr Chiloba to explain the inspiration behind the appeal as they had read mischief leading to the threats to boycott the next general elections if the law is not upheld as in the court ruling. “The chairperson is supposed to declare results as received from returning officers based at constituencies. We are worried about which law the commission referred to when appealing to vest all these powers on presidential results in the body chairperson,” said Mr Junet during the interview.

In response to the legislator, Mr Chiloba exuded that the law required that presidential elections outcomes are declared by the commission chairperson. “For presidential elections, the law clearly identifies the elections board chairperson as the official to make the declaration,” said Chiloba. He said the commission was hiring and training professionals but that does not guarantee clarity and accuracy in their reports of work and there has to be verification and clarification before any declaration is made.

Judges of the High Court, Aggrey Muchelule, Weldon Korir and Enoch Chacha Mwita, on April 7, declared that the presidential results at the constituency level as announced by returning officers are final and should therefore not be subjected to any alterations by the IEBC at the national tallying centre.

In the verdict, the judges indicated meagre chances of altering the presidential election results at the national tallying centre after being submitted by the 290 constituencies in general elections.The opposition coalition has not only threatened to boycott the elections if the Court of Appeal grants IEBC the relief of having the ruling aside but have said there will be no elections in this case.Speaking at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, the Opposition camp on Tuesday condemned the commission’s appeal against the ruling terming it is a plan to rig the August poll.

The Opposition in their deliberations led by among five NASA principals at Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi County espoused confidence in clinching victory as voter figures from various parts of the country have put them ahead of the ruling Jubilee party and that they will win in August.

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