Petition seeking to compel IEBC to release results 7hrs after vote flops

Justice David Majanja. PHOTO | FILE | NMG
Justice David Majanja. PHOTO | FILE | NMG  

The High Court has thrown out a petition in which three voters wanted the electoral agency compelled to announce presidential results within seven hours after closure of polling stations.

Justice David Majanja on Monday ruled that the petitioners failed to demonstrate that the Constitution requires the commission to announce the outcome within seven hours.

This came as the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced voters will be able to access the poll register at the polling stations a week before the August 8 General Election as the commission moves to comply with the law.

The poll agency has been under pressure to make public the list of 19.6 million registered voters to ensure transparency.

The law states that the IEBC must publish the register of voters online and “in any other manner as may be prescribed by regulations”.

“We will be publishing the voter register in every polling station seven days to the general elections,” said IEBC commissioner Roselyne Akombe.

A week ago, Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) director Gladwell Otieno moved to court seeking to have the IEBC compelled to publish and open up the voter register for public inspection.

In a separate court, Titus Alila, Jackline Otieno and Francis Ogada wanted the court to order the IEBC to announce the results without delays to avoid anxiety among the population.

The petitioners argued the seven days allowed by the Constitution to declare the presidential results was too long.

“IEBC has the discretion and flexibility to announce presidential results within the time prescribed by Article 138(10) of the constitution which states that they are to announce results within seven days,” said Justice Majanja.

The IEBC, the judge said, is an independent commission and is not subject to the control or direction of any person or authority but the Constitution.