The electoral commission has changed the date for repeat presidential election occasioned by Supreme Court’s nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.
The commission on Thursday said it had moved the poll from October 17 to October 26, 2017, just five days to the 60 days allowed by the Constitution.
In a brief statement, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that the decision was taken to ensure the commission is fully prepared in light of the judgment of the Supreme Court which was delivered on Wednesday.
“There is no doubt that the judgment impacts on the election operations and in particular technology to be deployed,” Mr Chebukati said.
“In order to ensure that the commission is fully prepared to deliver an election that meets the standards set out by the Supreme Court, we wish to notify the public and all stakeholders that the fresh presidential election shall now be held on Thursday October 26, 2017,” the chairman added, further announcing that IEBC will issue more details on Friday on the state of preparedness.
According to Mr Chebukati, IEBC continues to review the detailed Supreme Court for purposes of understanding its implications on the court-ordered fresh election.
In the majority judgment, four Supreme Court judges, Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Justices Smokin Wanjala and Isaac Lenaola held that the presidential election held on August 8 “was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared result invalid, null and void.”
They also held that there were substantial irregularities and illegalities in the presidential election that they affected the integrity of the election, “the results not- withstanding.”
“As for the IEBC, all we are saying is that, the constitutional mandate placed upon it is a heavy yet, noble one. In conducting the fresh election consequent upon our orders, and indeed in conducting any future election, IEBC must do so in conformity with the constitution, and the law. For, what is the need of having a constitution, if it is not respected?” the judges posed in their judgment.
Judges Jackton Ojwang’ and Njoki Ndung’u penned separate dissenting judgments from the majority ruling.