A move by the Government to sponsor a Bill in parliament that seeks to bar media houses and other online portals from LIVE streaming the 2022 election results has caused an uproar.
The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 also seeks to quash a requirement necessitating the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from availing polling station results on an online portal.
This new move could be a stumbling block to real-time monitoring of provisional results, as they can only be accessed once they have been verified IEBC and announced as final results.
The Bill was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, February 2, by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya.
Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya addressing the press After a Jubilee PG Meeting at KICC on Monday, June 22, 2020
It was, as one would expect, met with resistance from a section of lawmakers allied to the Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
“This Bill is mischievous. If they are for a credible, transparent process, why shut out the media from streaming live the presidential election results. We are not for this,” Belgut MP Nelson Koech stated.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany, on his part, vowed to rally UDA troops to vote against the Bill, or seek legal redress in case it sails through.
“I am smelling a rat. These people want to rig elections. We will not allow the media and other online channels to be shut out in the live streaming of the presidential election results,” said Kositany.
The law requires Presiding Officers to transmit results at every polling station to the Returning Officer based in their region of jurisdiction.
Returning Officers are then required to collate results from their region to the National Tallying Centre.
The physical forms are also required to be delivered at the National Tallying Centre by the Individual Returning Officers for verification and reconciliation.
EBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at a conference held on October 22, 2018