IEBC to meet with presidential candidates over ballots verdict

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Chebukati said they had instructed their lawyers to appeal the ruling issued by a three judge-bench at the High Court.
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By Collins Anampiu

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati has urged Kenyans to remain calm following Friday’s court ruling that nullified the presidential ballot papers printing tender awarded to a Dubai-based firm.

In a statement to the newsroom Chebukati said they had instructed their lawyers to appeal the ruling issued by a three judge-bench at the High Court.

He however said the commission has invited all presidential candidates on Monday at 11am to discuss the way forward on the printing of the presidential ballot.

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The commission has also invited the public to submit memoranda on the procurement of the presidential ballot papers by Tuesday next week and a subsequent public hearing on Wednesday the 12th this month.

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On Friday, the High Court halted the printing of the August 8, 2017 presidential election ballot papers by the Dubai based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.

The three judge-bench also ordered IEBC to commence a fresh procurement process citing failure by the commission to conduct public participation.

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In its application, the National Super Alliance – NASA had claimed the award of the tender had been influenced by the relationship between Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company and one of the presidential candidates.

The Opposition argued that IEBC failed to consult political players before contracting the printing firm through direct procurement.

Chief Justice, David Maraga constituted a three judge bench of Joel Ngugi, George Odunga and John Mativo to dispense with the matter after NASA claimed relevant stakeholders were not consulted and integrity questions surrounding the firm’s dealings disqualified it for contracting.

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The court also noted that the orders will not affect printing of ballot papers for the other electoral positions.

Meanwhile, IEBC says it will challenge the verdict on the printing tender at the Court of Appeal.

The commission says financial implications and issues of breach of contract are imminent following orders issued by the court urging the judges to reverse the orders or grant stay orders.

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