Azimio reacts to IEBC’s suspension of polls in Kakamega, Mombasa counties
The Azimio One Kenya coalition has protested against a decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to suspend planned gubernatorial polls in Kakamega and Mombasa counties.
IEBC on Monday suspended four elections including the Mombasa and Kakamega gubernatorial contests citing a printing error on the ballot papers.
Reacting to the postponement of the polls that had been slated for Tuesday, August 9, Azimio Council Secretary General Junet Mohamed said the printing error leaves a lot to be desired since it only affects 'Azimio strongholds'.
Azimio warns IEBC
While accusing the commission of negligence, Junet warned that anyone found culpable for the mixup would be liable in line with Section 6(j) of the Election Offences Act.
"Today we serve notice to IEBC and all its commissioners that according to section 6(j) of the Elections Offences Act 37 of 2016 says that a member of the commission staff or other person having any duty to perform pursuant to any written law relating to any election who without any reasonable course does or omits to do anything in breach of his official duty commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh2 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both," Junet said.
The MP, however, urged the supporters of the Raila Odinga-led coalition to turn up in large numbers and vote for the presidential candidate and other Azimio-allied politicians in the polls.
"This suspension and its intended mischief notwithstanding, we urge Azimio supporters, especially in Mombasa and Kakamega to turn out in large numbers and vote for their favourite presidential candidate Raila Amolo Odinga," Mohamed added.
"Let's come out and put the commission and their sponsors to shame."
Earlier, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the ballot papers for the four races had wrong images and details of candidates.
The IEBC boss said the elections will be conducted at a later date to be announced by the commission.
"Ballot papers for the following elective positions were noted to have errors. Ballot papers for Kakamega county governor positions, Mombasa County have wrong gubernatorial candidate pictures and the details printed on them. Positions for members of the National Assembly in Pokot South and three in Kachiriba also have wrong candidate pictures and the details printed on them," Chebukati said.
Candidates for the respective seats have come out to criticize the commission for the last-minute postponement of the polls.
Hassan Omar, seeking the Mombasa governor seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket, alleged malice in the move by IEBC.
He also alleged an attempt by the Azimio One Kenya coalition opponents to interfere with the polls after 'sensing defeat' in Mombasa and Kakamega counties.
On his part, Kakamega gubernatorial candidate Cleophas Malala also slammed the commission for the error, insisting that he is in the race to win.
The Amani National Congress (ANC) party candidate urged Kakamega residents to turn up in large numbers and vote for the Kenya Kwanza alliance presidential flag bearer William Ruto tomorrow.
"The postponement of our gubernatorial election is a minor setback. I take this opportunity to urge all my Supporters to turn out in large numbers tomorrow and vote for William Ruto as President to the last man," Malala said.
"That is the only way to shame any individual who imagines he/she can deny Kakamegans the leader they deserve. Kesho, operation ni kulinda kura ya William Samoei Ruto. It's not over yet."