An official of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has expressed hope that the group will announce the final results of the presidential election Friday. The constitution gives Kenya’s electoral body seven days to release results of an election.
IEBC Commissioner Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo says the electoral group is considering objections raised by top officials of political parties about the ongoing release of results from last Monday’s general election. Supporters of the two leading presidential candidates have expressed concern about the election.
“We are like referees and we will not favor any party. We are open and we have allowed both local and international observers and other interested parties access. We are sharing information and therefore the integrity of these elections is guaranteed,” said Nzibo.
“We have also allowed political parties to have a look at the results half an hour before we announce them, so that if they have any objection then they can write the chair, who is the returning officer for the presidential election,” he said.
Nzibo says some of the political parties have demanded a delay in releasing the election results so their representatives can inspect them. He disagreed, such demands are unconstitutional.
“These are results which have been announced at each polling station where party agents had gone through them and certified them. The law does not provide for these agents at the national level to audit whatever had been done by their agents at the grassroots,” said Nzibo.
Both local and international poll monitors have said the election was credible. Nzibo says the IEBC conducted free and fair elections despite the logistical challenges.
“We believe strongly that the results would be accepted by Kenyans despite the protests that [political parties] may have,” Nzibo said. “We have told the parties that if they are not happy, let us not resort to violence. Let us go to the Supreme Court and use the legal recourse to challenge our results or our announcement.”
He says two electoral officers have so far been arrested for allegedly tampering with the election process.
“They would have to face the force of the law. They would be personally liable and the penalties are very clear,” said Nzibo.
The punishments the electoral officials face could include a one year jail term and a possible [$11,600] fine.