Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu now wants the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati to update the country on the latest preliminary results of the presidential election.
Ms Ngilu, who opted not to defend her seat in the general election that was held on August 9, 2022, is one of the agents of the Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
While speaking at the Bomas of Kenya, IEBC’s national tallying centre, Ms Ngilu said that the commission’s failure to update Kenyans on the latest presidential results more than 12 hours after the Form 34As were electronically transmitted to the commission was causing unnecessary tension in the country.
“What I am appealing to the IEBC chairman is that, please, update the country on what you have gathered so far. You cannot keep the country in the waiting mood forever,” said Ms Ngilu.
But even as she made the calls, IEBC on Wednesday night said that there would be no briefing until Thursday 10am.
Ms Ngilu noted that the ongoing independent tallying of the presidential election results by the various media houses cannot be relied on as they are not uniform because each media outlet is beaming their own results.
But even as Ms Ngilu made her appeal, Mr Chebukati was firm that the commission will only start the verification process of the presidential election once all the form 34As and 34Bs have been transmitted to the commission.
The IEBC chairman revealed that the commission expects the constituency returning officers (CROs) to deliver forms 34As physically at the Bomas of Kenya from Thursday morning to pave the way for the verification process.
Compliance with the law
“We are conducting this election in compliance with the law. Once the CROs have physically delivered form 34As and 34Bs, we shall start the verification process and update Kenyans on what is happening,” Mr Chebukati said in one of his updates to the country.
Previously, the commission has used form 34As to announce preliminary election results.
However, the latest behaviour by the commission is informed by the court ruling that directed that any results beamed by the IEBC on its live portal must be done once all the form 34As have been verified.
The Constitution mandates the commission to announce and declare the winner of the presidential election contest within seven days from the election date.
“The commission is within the time range as provided in the Constitution. We hope to conclude the exercise of verification and tallying of the presidential election results once all the forms are with us,” the IEBC boss said.
Ms Ngilu’s agitations are based on the fact that already, 45,936 form 34As out of the 46,229 polling stations in the country have been transmitted to the IEBC’s national tallying centre.
“These are enough materials to start the process because form 34As are the primary election data materials that the commission should use to inform the country what is happening,” said the outgoing Kitui governor.
Primary election data forms
Form 34As are the primary election data forms from the polling stations whose results as entered and duly signed by the Presiding Officers and party agents, are used to construct form 34Bs at the constituency tallying centre.
The law mandates the Presiding Officers to enter the Presidential election results in forms 34As, take an image of the form that is duly signed, send to the National Tallying Centre and deliver the form physically to the Constituency Returning Officer.
Once this has been executed successfully, the CRO is then required to aggregate the results as entered in the forms 34As into form 34B and deliver the two forms to the National Tallying Centre physically.
Verification of the results entails marching the image of form 34A as transmitted by the Presiding Officer and the physically delivered form 34B by the CRO before tallying the results.
Once this has been achieved, the commission chairman, who is the Returning Officer in the presidential election, is required to create form 34C where all the results of the other presidential candidates will be entered, announced and then declare the winner.
The winner is then issued with a certificate, which is form 34D.