EU urges release of all poll results online

Marietje Schaake, head of the EU election observers mission. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA
Marietje Schaake, head of the EU election observers mission. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA  

The European Union observers have asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to publish all remaining forms showing vote tallies from the polling stations to ensure transparency ahead of tomorrow’s deadline to challenge the poll outcome.

The 28-member trade bloc wants the IEBC to immediately make public results from all the 40,883 polling stations — technically known as Form 34 — which is a crucial data for those seeking to contest the outcome of last week’s General Election.

“The timing of such information being made public is critical given that petitions relating to the presidential race must be filed within seven days of the results announcement,” said EU chief observer Marietje Schaake in a statement.

“Online availability of the 34B forms, as well as the remaining 34A forms would enable all stakeholders to examine the accuracy of the announced results and point to any possible anomalies.”

IEBC spokesman Andrew Limo said about 2,900 Form 34As out of 40,883 showing results at individual polling stations were not yet online.

Cry foul

Opposition chief Raila Odinga has already disputed the outcome of last week’s poll, alleging IEBC’s computer systems were hacked and the manual forms altered to give incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta a strong lead.

Mr Odinga cried foul shortly after vote counting began in last week’s election, sparking protests in his strongholds that left at least 25 dead.

Yesterday, Mr Odinga announced that he would challenge the results at the Supreme Court.

“Provision of information and statistics would also help promote confidence through transparency,” said the EU team of 30 observers.

IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba on Monday wrote to Opposition alliance Nasa, saying the agency would delay supplying the remaining 11,000 Form 34As yet to be uploaded on its public portal.

“We are however not in a position to supply Form 34As at the moment but the same shall be availed to you as soon as possible,” Mr Chiloba said in a letter dated August 14.

Friday marks the last day for anyone to challenge Mr Kenyatta’s win, as the Constitution gives a seven-day window to lodge such petitions.

The EU wants to avert a scenario similar to that of 2013 when Mr Odinga’s petition suffered a major blow when the Supreme Court threw out his 900-page replying affidavit, saying it was filed outside the legal seven-day window.