Chebukati opens up on his 'preferred candidate' in August 8th polls

The revelation comes on a day the pre-trial conference is set for 7pm todayat the Supreme Court

Mr Chebukati, through his 15-page affidavit document filed at the Supreme Court, has dismissed claims that Mr Kenyatta was his preferred candidate to Raila Odinga.

Earlier, there were accusations from the Opposition that Mr Chebukati remained mum even as President Uhuru Kenyatta allegedly used “state resources to campaign, contravening the elections law.”

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga had claimed in his petition at the Supreme Court that Mr Chebukati stood to benefit from the Uhuru Kenyatta power.

In his reply to Raila’s case before the Supreme Court, the electoral commission boss says his role was only to facilitate Kenyans to elect leaders of their choice.

“The commission and I do not have a stake in the outcome of the August 8, 2017 elections at all. Throughout the election cycle, we were neutral referees,” Mr Chebukati said in his affidavit.

He added: “Our resolute mandate was to provide the electoral infrastructure for the people of Kenya to exercise their sovereign will to elect leaders of their choice.”

On what senior Counsel James Orengo claimed to be fake Forms 34As, the IEBC chair, in his 15-page affidavit, explains the process through which he arrived at the conclusion that President Kenyatta would rule Kenya for a second term.

He says the 40,883 presiding officers it had deployed at polling stations across the country were required to scan form 34As and send them to both the national and constituency tallying centres. These forms, says Chebukati, had special security features that could not allow anyone photocopy them.

“It is not correct, as the petitioners have alleged, that the commission presided over a shambolic presidential election. No single activity or process was done haphazardly,” he said.

He argues that despite the challenges, IEBC gave its best.

“In addition, despite the numerous challenges arising from litigation against the commission, the commissioners and I ensured that the procurement of strategic electoral materials by the commission’s secretariat was done in a transparent and timely manner,” he adds.

On the other hand, the IEBC chair admitted that there were errors but he asserted that they were too minor to have any effect on the final outcome.

“The said errors were minor and did not have any effect on the outcome of the presidential election as evidenced,” he says, adding that he followed to the detail each law set to govern the election process and did everything humanly possible to accommodate and resolve issues raised by the competing parties.

“To ensure transparency, legitimacy, and credibility of the process, the petitioners and their agents were given opportunity and fully participated in the tallying of the presidential election results,” he explains.

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