Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has moved to defend the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which has, since its introduction to parliament by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, elicited sharp criticism across the political divide.
The commission chairman Wafula Chebukati in a statement dismissed as fallacious, reports indicating that the bill seeks to bar live streaming of elections results and replace it with a manual method that was used in 2007.
“The media reports are erroneous and a misrepresentation of the bill as tabled before the parliament. It does not in any way propose an amendment to Section 44 of the Elections Act that provides for the deployment of an Integrated Elections Management System for voter registration, identification and results’ transmission,” Chebukati said.
Instead, the commission that has sponsored the bill clarified that it proposes a complementary mechanism for result transmission to address instances where transmission of results is not possible owing to the lack of 3G network which is the minimum standard required for transmission of results’ form.
“The bill seeks to align with the Case Law in which the court held and decreed that election results are what is contained in the election results declaration form (34A Series) which is the primary document and final result recorded at the polling station,” he said.
Chebukati stated that the commission is required to verify the results by comparing the original physical form 34A and the image of the result declaration form as transmitted from the polling station.
He disclosed that the electoral body is after ensuring that live and manual transmission of results complements each other to avert a crisis.
“The bill proposes that the Commission will inter alia electronically transmit the image of the statutory election result declaration form filled by the Presiding Officer (PO) and witnessed by Political Parties and candidates’ agents present at the polling station,” his statement read in sections assuring all stakeholders of access to the portal where the election results will be posted.
He further assured Kenyans that the electoral commission will facilitate a transparent, secure and accountable election results management path.