Court of Appeal suspends order compelling IEBC to clear Reuben Kigame

The IEBC had been ordered to clear Reuben Kigame, but the commission argued that the court order presented a number of legal and practical challenges

 Presidential aspirant Reuben Kigame

The Court of Appeal has suspended a High Court order compelling the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to include Reuben Kigame in the list of presidential candidates ahead of the August 9, General Elections.

The IEBC had been ordered to clear Kigame as a presidential candidate, but the commission argued that the court order presented a number of legal and practical challenges.

The IEBC said that the move would jeopardise the conduct of the presidential elections on August 9, 2022.

One of the legal reasons cited is the failure for Kigame to comply to Article 137 of the Constitution that requires a candidate for a presidential election to be "nominated by not fewer than two thousand voters from each of a majority of the counties".

The independent candidate had only presented a list of 1,013 supporters as at May 25, which was the set deadline for submission of the list of nominating supporters.

The commission further highlighted the courts' inability to present the list of supporters who claim to have nominated Kigame as their official presidential candidate.

"The list of supporters referred to by the Court has not been presented to the Commission nor has it been analysed to determine whether the listed nominating supporters meet the prescribed numbers and are registered voters as required," stated IEBC.

The final legal reason stipulated by the commission includes a number of steps and procedures that had already been followed to ensure that the election gets underway in about 19 days.

According to the Wafula Chebukati-led commission, these steps can not be repeated as they risk delaying or in the worse case postponing the elections if repeated again.

a) Fresh gazettement of the presidential candidates;

b) Inclusion of the new candidate and his running mate on the ballot paper which will require a reprograming of the Candidates Registration Management System (CRMS) for registration and ballot proofing;

c) Reprograming of the Results Transmission System (RTS) to include the candidate and his running mate;

d) Recalling and reprograming of all the 55,650 KIEMS kits to be used in the 47 Counties and the Diaspora which will have to be reconfigured;

e) The printer of the ballot papers will have to redesign the printing template to include the new candidate and his running mate;

f) The reprinting, repackaging and eventual rebooking and rescheduling of flights to deliver the pallets to the central warehouse which the printer confirms will not be possible in time for the general elections slated for the August 9.

g) The cost of printing new ballot papers and rescheduling freight is not less than eight million euros (Sh971million). This amount is not in the Commission's election budget.

h) The said processes, subject to availability of the budget, require a minimum of 30 days, yet we are at 19 days to the general election.

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