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High Court Orders Cancelling of Printing of Presidential Ballot Papers

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High Court ruling by judges John Mativo, Joel Njagi and George Odunga nullified the tender for printing of ballot papers for presidential candidates slotted for 8th August, 2017. 

The printing of ballots for the remaining five other positions (Senators, Governors, Members of Parliament, Women Representatives, and MCAs) was cleared to take place.

The court directed that IBEC should have consulted all candidates for the presidential position before awarding the contract to Al-Ghurair.

The case was filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA) contesting the circumstances under which the contract to print ballot papers was awarded. NASA noted that the company was linked to President Kenyatta. 

NASA relied on media articles to prove the linkage between Uhuru Kenyatta and Al-Ghurair. The court indicated that “newspapers articles on their own are inadmissible in law.”Therefore, the judges indicated that NASA had failed in proving the relationship between Al-Ghurair and President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

This is a second blow on IEBC just two weeks after the Court of Appealed ruled that the presidential election results declared by the IEBC constituency returning Officers will be final. This will make it impossible to tamper with the results at the national tarrying center in Nairobi. 

Now IEBC has four options open to them. The first one being, appealing the case at the Court of Appeal. The Commission has already indicated its intention to appeal. The second option will be to float an open tender which will take a lot of time to conclude. There time is not on their side considering that they have just 30 days to the general elections. 

The third option available to IEBC is inviting a few companies to bid for the tender in what is called a closed tender. The final option is “open sourcing.” 

The contract awarded to Al-Ghurair was valued at Ksh. 2.5 billion. 

What others said about the High Court ruling to cancel the tender: 

“We will appeal whether it is viable and lawful to cancel a sixth of a tender.”

-Fred Ngatia, Jubilee Party lawyer 

National Super Alliance (NASA) celebrated the ruling. 

“We call upon IEBC to convene a meeting of all presidential candidates on the way forward, including helping it identify a credible printer capable of meeting our deadlines for the elections.”

– Mr. Salim Lone, Senior Advisor to NASA presidential candidate 


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