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"We Are not Ready to Repeat Election" Raila Suffers Big Blow as Chebukati Cites insufficient Funds

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now says that the commission is not ready to conduct a repeat of presidential election citing insufficient funds to cater for a rerun election.

Speaking after a consultative meeting with religious leaders on Tuesday, March 15, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati noted that the commission hopes to have a clear winner at the end.

Chebukati said a repeat presidential elections also cost taxpayers a lot of money compared with other African countries. Its 19.6 million voters will each cost the government $25.40. On Aug. 4, Rwanda will spend 5.5 billion Rwandan francs ($6.5 million) to conduct its third multiparty election which has 6.8 million registered voters, less than a dollar per voter.

“We do not have a budget for a re-run. We are not planning for a re-run. We are planning for general elections in August. In case of any eventuality, we will deal with them when they arise,” remarked Chebukati.

An additional 4 billion shillings will also be spent on enhancing security in hotspot counties and border areas, ease the process of acquiring national identity cards, and ensure peaceful coexistence during and after elections.

The judiciary, national intelligence, and the presidency are also some of the other offices allocated millions of dollars in direct and indirect funding.

The elections come at a time when the economy is vulnerable to shocks emanating from a biting drought, rising inflation rates, and a slowdown in private sector credit.

The demand for a salary increase from public servants like nurses and teachers, besides the cumulative cost of Kenya’s security intervention in Somalia, also weigh heavy on government expenditures. The Treasury also noted that concerns about violence in the lead up to election could dampen short-term growth, and weaken both local and foreign investor confidence.

However, Chebukati stated that the commission is well prepared to manage the upcoming General Election, having completed 90% of procurement of voting materials such as ballot papers.

The IEBC boss further noted that civic education this time round is low, due to budgetary constraints.

“As a commission we only got the election budget this year and we have done what we can with it even though we had a deficit. However, we have two civic educators in every ward,” he said.

This is a big blow to Azimio Leader Hon. Raila Odinga, who lost and protested the previous three elections, one which resulted in violence, he may not want to reinforce perceptions, which the Ruto camp is bound to play up, that he is the perennial sore loser stirring up trouble. A probable cause of action might, therefore, be for his allies in politics and civil society to be the ones to go to court.

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Big Blow IEBC Rwanda Rwandan Wafula Chebukati

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