Court extends voter enlisting by three days

By Brenda Czeda

The High Court has ordered the extension of the IEBC mass voter registration exercise by three days. Judge Enoch Chacha ruled that a petition filed by activist Okiyah Omtatah has merit. 

At the same time High Court Judge George Odunga has excused himself from hearing CORD’s petition against the IEBC over the award of a tender for the auditing of the voter register after the electoral body accused him of bias.

Judge Chacha directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC to extend the Mass Voter registration exercise for 3 days to the 19th of February.

Justice Chacha ruled that the national exercise should close on Sunday 6pm and thereafter IEBC should continue with voter listing at the constituency level.

The High Court will begin hearing Omtatah’s full petition on the 2nd of May. However the Wafula Chabukati led Commission is opposed to the extension arguing that it will be a costly affair for the electoral body and will also affect their election calendar.

Despite the lifeline granted by the court, turn out continues to be low at registration centers countrywide. This is the second time the court has extended the registration of voters.

Meanwhile CORD’s petition against the IEBC over auditing of the voter register is set to be judged by a different adjudicator after High Court Judge George Odunga excused himself from the case.

Justice Odunga has also rejected demands by IEBC to refer the matter to Chief Justice David Maraga to appoint a three-Judge bench to handle the petition.

The opposition is challenging the award of a tender to KPMG for the audit of the voter register and IEBC had expressed reservations that Justice Odunga would be biased.

This after the judge on Monday this week nullified a 2.5 billion shillings tender awarded to a Dubai based firm for the supply of ballot papers for the August 8th election.