Inside 2017 Court Ruling Barring IEBC From Streaming LIVE Results From Bomas
IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati announced the results from one constituency- Webuye East
A September 1, 2017, Supreme Court that threw away the August 8, 2017, general elections has thrown the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in a dilemma amidst Kenyans' demands to have it live-stream the presidential election results as transmitted to the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya.
Before the judgement, the commission had provided real-time presidential results as they were announced in polling stations across the country. In nullifying the results, the apex court directed the IEBC to conduct fresh general elections in 60 days, while in adherence to the orders.
To comply with the judgement, the IEBC is not providing presidential election results in real-time. However, what it has done instead is upload the results captured in Form 34As in its live portal which Kenyans and media houses have been using to tally results from 46,229 polling stations across the country.
Ongoing verification process at the Bomas of Kenya. /MARTIN WACHIRA.TWITTER
In the 2016 petition by Maina Kiai, a former chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Court of Appeal determined that presidential election results at the constituency level as contained in forms 34A are final and the IEBC cannot alter them for whatever reason.
This, therefore, means that Kenyans will not be able to tell the polling stations yet to submit or transmit presidential results, which points to potential irregularities as they cannot spot and understand why a polling station is taking more time to transmit results when neighbouring ones have done so.
To add salt to the matter, on Thursday, August 11, two days after voting closed across the country, IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati announced the results from one constituency- Webuye East, a matter which brought to the limelight the sluggish nature of the commission in announcing the final results.
The results placed Deputy President William Ruto ahead of his competition after garnering 16,412 votes. Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, got 13,720 votes while Roots Party's George Wajackoyah garnered 249 votes and Agano Party's David Mwaure 110 votes.
Kenya Kwanza's William Ruto won in three constituencies, including Webuye, Baringo Central and Oljorok. Azimio la Umoja's Raila Odinga won in three constituencies, including Lamu East, Kangundo and Kathiani constituencies.
The commission faces a race against time to ensure that the presidential election winner is announced. By law, the commission has seven days from the day of voting to announce the winner of the poll, which puts the current deadline at Tuesday, August 16.
The results are based on Forms 34B obtained from the 290 constituencies across the country.
"Within seven (7) days after the presidential election, the chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall; (a) declare the result of the election; and (b) deliver a written notification of the result to the Chief Justice and the incumbent president," reads Article 138(10) of the Constitution.
To beat this deadline, the commission will need to increase its speed in terms of releasing Form 34Bs from the remaining constituencies within a short time. For example, the commission should be prepared to release the results from at least 60 constituencies daily, which translates to at least 3 forms every hour in a round-the-clock fashion.
“The issue of declaring results, that will not happen today. We have seven days to do that. As the National Returning Officer (NRO), I’m assuring you that we shall do everything to have this process concluded earliest possible," Chebukati however expressed confidence.
He warned presidential candidates against declaring themselves as winners before the official announcement.
Wafula Chebukati meets US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman. /IEBC