he National Super Alliance (NASA) has submitted that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should postpone the August 8 general elections if the electronic system fails on polling day.
In their submission before Justices Kanyi Kimondo, Hedwig Ong’udi and Alfred Mabeya on Monday, NASA through their lawyer Paul Mwangi argued that the Electoral Comission has so far failed to provide a complementary election transmission system as required by law.
Section 55(b) of the amended Elections Act allows the Electoral Commission to postpone polls until a complementary system is put in place. The postponement according to the act can be done in a constituency, county or ward.
Mwangi, together with James Orengo and Ben Sihanya said that past elections have been compromised by failure of technology. NASA argued that Parliament authorized IEBC to come up with a complimentary system, but not a manual system.
The opposition also said that IEBC has not engaged relevant stakeholders or even consulted the public as far as coming up with the complementary system is concerned. The lawyers further argued that the court can compel the Electoral Agency to postpone the elections when it fails to do so.
Jubilee, however, through its lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Tom Macharia said that the opposition was hell-bent on suppressing the wishes of voters.
Jubilee argued that failure of Biometric Voter Registration systems and Electronic Voter Identification systems should not be used as a basis to disenfranchise eligible voters. Abdullahi said that the petition by NASA aimed at declaring Section 44(a) of the Elections Act illegal and in effect, legislate through the back door.
“After failing to stop the process in December. They have now brought a petition raising the same issues. He cannot be allowed to have a second bite of the cherry,” he said.
Through its lawyer PLO Lumumba IEBC submitted that it has embraced regulations to cater for both identification of voters and transmission of results in case the system fails. Lumumba further argued that there was public participation in the process of coming up with the regulations and NASA was misleading the court by stating the opposite.
Jubilee Director of Legal Affairs Mary Karen Sorobit in a sworn statement said that NASA was trying to legislate its electoral agenda using the court.
“The insistence on using electronic transmission as the only mode of transmission or identifying voters will thus be setting up the country on the reliance of an unreliable, insecure mode of transmission of results,” Sorobit states.
The opposition filed a petition in court to compel IEBC to exclusively use electronic systems to identify voters and transmit results during the August 8 General Election. In the petition, NASA argued that IEBC is time-barred in coming up with a complementary mechanism for the elections as required by law.
A ruling on the case will be issued on July 21.