BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,26TH JULY 2017-The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and representatives of presidential candidates met on Wednesday 26th July and agreed that each presidential candidate will only have one agent at the polling station on the election day who will monitor presidential tallying of votes .
Addressing the press after the meeting attended by one presidential candidate Japheth Kaluyu and seven representatives of the rest said the move will help avoid overcrowding of polling stations .
“We all agreed the law is very clear that one agent per political party or candidate is allowed at the polling station, that is what the law says.”
“The jurisdiction of the IEBC at the polling centre is 400 metres so voters will come vote and leave the 400-metre area, so as to not interfere with the operations. Whatever happens outside the 400 metres, that is outside our jurisdiction. I believe Kenyans will follow the law and will not cause any fracas out there because that is where those other agencies come in,” the poll agency chief told a news conference held at the Commission’s Anniversary Towers offices.
The meeting an announcement by the Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) insisted that it will have at least 10 agents at every polling station, as part of their ‘adopt-a-polling station’ strategy meant to protect the coalition’s flag bearer Raila Odinga’s votes.
NASA has five affiliated political parties, who intend to each have an agent.
Chebukati said at least two security officers will be deployed a polling station.
He reiterated that non-accredited persons will not be allowed within 400 meters of a polling centre.
“Regulation 63 of the Elections (General) Regulations bestows upon the presiding officer the overall duty to keep order at his or her polling station. The Presiding Officer may order the removal of any person who misconducts himself or herself at the polling station, or fails to obey any lawful instructions or orders of the presiding officer and such person shall be removed by the police officer present,” Chebukati said.
He also reiterated that the Presiding Officer may order the dispersal of any gathering of persons which in his or her view appears to be preventing free entry and exit at the polling station or to be intimidating or interfering with voters, and any such order shall be sufficient authority for a police officer, or any other person authorized by the order, to effect the dispersal.
NASA presidential candidate Odinga, had said some of the ‘adopt-a-polling station’ volunteers will take videos and photos of electoral materials, including Forms 34 and 36.
Odinga’s camp plans to use the records as “irrefutable evidence in case the election results are challenged.”
The election laws prohibit canvassing in or within 400 metres of polling stations on polling day.
IEBC is also in the process of training security officers seconded to it on election security, election laws and poll offences.