Kenya’s IEC meets political parties ahead of Oct 26 elections

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Kenya’s Electoral Commission has met representatives from President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s Jubilee Party and from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga‘s Opposition NASA coalition to iron out outstanding issues ahead of the fresh presidential election in October.

The meeting comes just a day after NASA held street protests in major cities across the country, demanding the removal of electoral commission officials whom it accuses of bungling the August 8th election.

This is the first time the commission is meeting the political parties since the Supreme Court nullified the August Presidential election results citing irregularities and ordered fresh polls within 60 days.

Wafula Chebukati, IEBC Chairman says: “We want to engage the parties and see if they are any bottlenecks. We want to iron them out as a commission, we are committed to having elections on the 26th of October.”

Raila Odinga’s opposition the NASA coalition has a draft of demands it says must be met before it can participate in the election.
It wants officials, who may have bungled the last election, removed from office.

It also needs a new company to print ballot papers and handle the transmission of election results.

Kenyatta’s party however says polls must be held as planned under current arrangements.

Raphael Tuju, Secretary general of the Jubilee Party says: “Well our expectations are that people will be reasonable so that we can cool the temperatures, so that Kenyans can go to the polls and we can resume normalcy in this country.”

The meeting did not however reach a conclusion as some of the political party representatives asked for leave to attend a parliamentary debate on the amendment of electoral laws ahead of the October polls.

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– By Sarah Kimani