The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has expressed fears that next month’s general polls risk not taking place if the commission adheres to the High Court order nullifying the awarding of presidential ballot printing tender to Dubai based firm, Al Ghurair.
Through its lawyers, IEBC told the Appellate Court on Friday that Kenyans will not have ballot papers for the Presidential election on August 8 if the orders of the High Court are implemented.
Court of Appeal judges Festus Githinji, Otieno Odek, Jamilla Mohamed, Alnassir Visram and Roslyn Nambuye heared that if IEBC implements the orders of the lower court, it will need 50 days to avail the presidential ballot papers for voting and there are only 24 days to the polls.
Lawyers Paul Muite, Kamau Karori and Milly Odari representing the commission argued that it will require 23 days to have fresh procurement documents and an additional 21 days for printing, urging the court to reverse the High Court ruling.
“We will not have presidential ballot papers if we do not start printing on Tuesday as had been envisaged. We will need at least 50 days to have those papers in the country if the orders of the High Court are followed,” IEBC told the appellate court.
The Commission further argued that National Super Alliance (NASA) seemed to want to derail the elections by filing a case challenging the ballot printing tender late.
“Why did NASA have to wait until June 22 knowing there was time constraint?” posed lawyer Kamau.
“If the election is not conducted on the intended day because the papers are not there, IEBC will be blamed and not the parties,” argued Muite.
“Participation cannot be equal to political parties directing IEBC on who and where to procure the papers,” the judges were told.