The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Friday said court orders issued last week nullifying the tender to print presidential ballot papers may stall the elections scheduled for August 8.

The court was similarly warned by Attorney General Githu Muigai that there is no cure for “the profound dominoe effect of skipping the presidential poll because it is a recipe for government shutdown and social anarchy”.

Muigai, in a spirited fight to have last week’s High Court decision cancelling the printing of presidential ballot papers overturned, said the country is likely to plunge into a territory with grave constitutional and political consequences.

“There is no provision in the Constitution that spells out what should happen if a presidential election is not held on August 8,” he said.

Three High Court judges nullified the tender awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC, saying there was no public participation.

IEBC was directed to come up with a mechanism for public participation. The firm is however printing the ballot papers for the other elective seats.

Appeal judges Festus Githinji, Otieno Odek, Jamilla Mohamed, Alnassir Visram and Roselyn Nambuye were told that if the IEBC is to follow the orders of the lower court, it will require 50 days to have the much needed voting papers in the country.

The commission, through lawyers Paul Muite, Kamau Karori and Milly Odari, said it will also require 23 days to have a fresh procurement document.

Kamau said it was impossible for the IEBC to kick-start the controversial tender because the printing of presidential ballot papers starts Tuesday next week.

“We will not have presidential ballot papers if we do not start printing on Tuesday as it had been envisaged,” the judges heard.

Source: The Star

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