Kenyan Court to rule on election ballot tender ahead of August 8 poll

Kenyan Court to rule on election ballot tender ahead of August 8 poll

A Kenyan court is due to make a landmark ruling on a case challenging the award of ballot paper printing tender to a Dubai-based printing company, Al Ghurair.

The high court’s ruling today will determine whether preparations for the elections due in 31 days will stay on course or be thrown off track.

The opposition coalition, National Super Alliance (NASA), had gone to court to seek the cancellation of the tender, arguing that it was awarded irregularly and that the company’s owners were too close to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking re-election.

Should the petition succeed and the contract awarded to Al Ghurair revoked, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will have to identity a new supplier, a process it has warned could stretch beyond the set 8 August poll date.

However, should the decision go its way, it will be on course to deliver all the ballot papers a week before the election.

Former IEBC commissioner Thomas Letangule warned that nullification of the tender about a month to election day would put not only the commission but also the country in an awkward position.
“I am positive that the Judiciary is operating in this environment (and) will make a decision that does not throw the country into a crisis. If they nullify that tender, IEBC has already executed the tender and therefore there will be cost implications. In the unlikely event of the court nullifying that contract, IEBC must quickly move to the superior court, appeal and get a stay order,” Mr Letangule said.
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