Chebukati responds to Raila over extra ballot claims

The electoral commission has dismissed claims by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party of a plot to print extra ballot papers for next month’s presidential election.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the printer would churn 22,102,532 papers, which is equal to the number of registered voters for the August 9 election.

The IEBC also dismissed Azimio’s claim of a plan to ship the purported extra ballot papers through the country’s porous borders, saying all papers would enter the country through JKIA.

“All ballot papers will come through JKIA. There will be no ballot papers from Uganda,” Chebukati said in a meeting with private sector business leaders.

The IEBC chair further dismissed claims the commission has been infiltrated by external forces keen on influencing the outcome of the elections.

On Wednesday, Raila Odinga and his allies alleged a plot to rig the elections in favour of their competitor Deputy President William Ruto.

The ODM leader, his staunch allies Junet Mohamed (Suna East MP), and Hassan Joho (Mombasa Governor) accused Senator Moses Wetang’ula of holding clandestine meetings with Chebukati as part of the plot.

They alleged that there was a scheme to ship into the country an extra two million ballot papers to be stuffed at some purported 10,000 polling stations.

But Chebukati dismissed the assertions that IEBC was under the siege of powerful forces, restating that the commission is independent and is guided by the law.

“IEBC is an independent institution. We are not directed by any individual or institution. You may be unhappy with us but as long as we are following the law, we are not worried,” he said.

Chebukati held that the IEBC, “has prepared for the upcoming election more than ever before.”

“We are committed to a transparent process and we will address any issue that may arise. I want Kenyans not to have fears about this election,” the chair declared.

He assured Kenyans that all the ballot papers would be accounted for as each has been assigned unique serial numbers.

“There would be no additional ballot papers. If there is any spoilt vote, it will be accommodated in the tally. The ballot papers are serialized and are specific to a polling station,” Chebukati said.

He added that the presidential ballots, which are the most critical, would be the last to be printed, adding that stakeholders would have a chance to witness the same in Greece.

“We are organizing for stakeholders to travel to Greece and witness the printing of ballot papers which would be done at the tail end of the printing,” the IEBC boss said.

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