Kenya polls team sets Election date

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, March 19, 2012 | 2:16 AM

The electoral team has set December 17 as an alternative date if it is forced by either arms of the government to reverse its decision to hold the General Election on March 4, 2013.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission acting chief executive officer James Oswago on Sunday challenged the Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament to set the election date in law to deal with the ambiguity that has been created by the Constitution and the court. 

He, however, revealed that the commission had an “election operation plan” that could see the polls being held on December 17. 

“The chairman already said that we are ready to abide by any ruling that will come from the Court of Appeal that says that we set a different date. 

“Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary should put their heads together and give us a clear date and we will abide by it,” 

On Saturday, chairman Issack Hassan said that they would change the date if the Court of Appeal does not uphold the Constitutional Court ruling, on which they set the date that has been received with mixed reactions. 

“We can reverse this date if we are given the right direction. If we are asked to pick an election date in December we can do it,” Mr Oswago said.

He said that they decided on the March date because as far as the commission was concerned, the ruling by the Constitutional court had not been stayed or reversed. 

He added that the commission could not consult forever while there were a lot of issues that must be resolved before the elections are held.

“You do not leave a void and when it is filled you start to complain about it. An election date is key to the planning of the election,” Mr Oswago said.

His comments came as it emerged that two new laws could have pushed Kenya to a 2013 General Election.

The IEBC estimates that parties need at least seven and a half months from end of April to comply with the Political Parties Act and the Elections Act before elections can be held. 

This pushes the complete compliance with the laws to mid-December this year. Mr Hassan noted that only five political parties had met the requirement of Political Parties Act.