The electoral agency on Thursday faced numerous questions after the surprise arrival of the first batch of ballot papers for the general election, even before the publication of the candidates’ names in the Kenya Gazette. Questions multiplied as to why the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) proceeded to print the ballot papers before publication, the delay of which was blamed by the agency on Government Printer, which in turn complained of the commission’s insincerity. The announcement of 16,098 candidates competing for the 1,882 elective seats must precede the printing of the ballot papers.
It is not only the arrival of the ballot papers that the IEBC has to deal with. Presidential candidate agents, led by Paul Mwangi, the flagbearer of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party Raila Odinga, have called the printing of ballot papers without the publication of the list of candidates an illegality that could lead to the entire election process being challenged in court.
The IEBC attributes the delay in the publication of the candidates for the 9 August general election to problems encountered at the government printing shop, saying the signed list was submitted to the institution on 30 June.
The IEBC is also under indictment for failing to make public the KPMG audit report of the electoral registers a month after it was handed over to Chebukati, IEBC chairman. Without giving an exact date when the report will be made public, Chebukati said they are still developing the implementation matrix before releasing it ‘soon’.
In the interest of greater transparency, the Commission said that all presidential agents will fly to Greece between 15 and 20 July to witness the printing of the presidential ballot papers.