- Mr Wafula Chebukati said that there is no law that stops any politician from campaigning.
- A judge on Tuesday cancelled the tender that the electoral commission had awarded to Al Ghurair to supply 130 million ballot papers.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cord chief Raila Odinga are free to campaign for the top seat, the elections chief told a presidential aspirant Friday.
Mr Wafula Chebukati, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman, said that there is no law that stops any politician from campaigning.
His comments came after the United Democratic Movement presidential candidate, Mr Philip Murgor, asked the electoral commission to stop President Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, who he said had started campaigns way ahead of the time allowed.
According to the commission’s election guidelines, campaigns should only start after June 28.
Mr Murgor said that allowing the President and his deputy to campaign would pose a legal challenge that could lead to the August 8 General Election results being declared invalid.
Mr Murgor is a former Director of Public Prosecutions.
“The electoral commission must crack the whip immediately and stop all further campaigns until June 28,” Mr Murgor said when he met election officials at the commission’s offices at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi.
However, Mr Chebukati said that legally, their campaign timeline could not bar the two, and indeed anyone else, from campaigning.
“Though according to our timeline the campaign for the August 8 election should start in June, there is no law that bars anyone from campaigning (early).
"As a commission, we have no power to stop anyone from going across the country looking for voters,” he said.
NO TIME CHANGES
President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have both ran aggressive and sustained campaigns, whose tempo was raised during the just-concluded hunt for eligible Kenyans to register as voters.
On Friday, Mr Chebukati also reassured the country that the commission will hold the General Election on August 8 despite the recent court rulings that were feared could disrupt preparations.
Mr Chebukati said the timelines it had set for various activities would not be affected.
According to him, the cancellation of a Sh2.5 billion ballot paper printing tender, the suspension of the audit of the voters’ register and the extension of the one-month mass voter registration by five days, would destabilise the commission’s budget but would not affect timelines, including the election date.
“We have time to do another tender and procure ballot papers. They are some of the last items we get. We have time, the law is there, just follow it and we have as many as five options on this,” Mr Chebukati sad.
He said this when he met former Rarieda MP Raphael Tuju, who led the Jubilee Party secretariat in talks with the election team at the party’s headquarters in Pangani.
“Timelines will not change as has been published. We will have the election on August 8 as is in the Constitution,” Mr Chebukati said.
A judge on Tuesday cancelled the tender that the electoral commission had awarded to Al Ghurair to supply 130 million ballot papers.