Tension is rising in Kenya after the Jubilee administration and the opposition took hard-line positions on amendment of laws that will govern next year’s elections. The Jubilee side on Thursday forced the amendment to the Election Law (Amendment) Act, 2016 after the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) MPs walked out of Parliament Buildings, where a special sitting had been convened. This has set the stage for street protests and possible violence in the countdown to the elections, scheduled for August next year. The Election Law (Amendment) Act, 2016 had been passed in September after being drafted by a special joint parliamentary committee comprising Jubilee and Cord members. On voter verification and results transmission, the law provided that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) would carry out the verification of voters in all polling stations using biometric data for 30 days. This was to be done 90 days before the election.
During the presidential election, IEBC would be required to transmit results electronically from a polling station to the constituency tallying centre and to the national tallying centre.
After tallying and verification at the national tallying centre, the IEBC would be required to publish the results on its online public portal.
On procurement and use of technology, the IEBC was expected to procure necessary technology at least eight months before the election; test, verify and deploy it at least sixty days before the election. The technology used for the election was restricted to the process of voter registration, identification of voters and results transmission.