The Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission has settled on Greek firm Inform P Lykos to print ballot papers for the 2022 General elections.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with the four presidential candidates for the August 9 General Election, Commissioner Abdi Guliye said the commission is satisfied with the firm and exuded confidence that there will be hitches that could jeopardize election plans.
“This is a very reputable firm in terms of printing and have a capacity twice higher that of Al Ghurair which printed ballot papers for 2017 elections,” Guliye said.
He further hailed the firm for having a back up site in the Balkans, in case of a technical challenge at the Athens site.
“Some of us commissioners and members of the procurement department have already visited both sites and we can assure you that the firm has the ability and capability to print all the ballot papers we need and there is no need to worry. We fully trust they will do a good job,” said Guliye.
Inform was founded in 1897 and has been listed on the Athens Stock Exchange since 1994.
It provides products and services for secure document and information management, innovating in digital transformation of businesses and organizations.
The firm has employed 520 workers in Greece, Romania and Albania and has a leading position in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe in the Public and Private Sector.
The electoral body was meeting candidates who included Kenya Kwanza Alliance flagbearer and Deputy President William Ruto, Azimio La Umoja candidate Raila Odinga, George Wajakoyah of the Roots Party and David Waihiga Mwaure of the Agano Party.
The meeting sought to clarify a number of issues that had raised regarding the commission’s preparations for the election.
The main concern for the Azimio team was the announcement that IEBC would not use the manual voter register as the primary reference document having resorted to a digital voters’ roll.
The Odinga-led team said they had doubts the electronic systems as technology may fail thus compromising the integrity of the polls.
“The physical register has never been a problem in the previous elections. We therefore do not understand why the commission does not want to use it to complement the digital one. We want the commission to assure us that we will not have bangled elections due to poor technology,” Azimio Chief Agent, Kanchory Saitabao, said.
Their competitors from Kenya Kwanza and the Agano Party registered a difference opinion, expressing confidence in the electronic register.
Ruto’s UDA party was categorical that it preferred the register based on Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) with IEBC assuring that the voters’ roll on the network would still be accessible for purposes of voter identification even when the devices are offline.
Kenya Kwanza Chief Agent Josephat Nanok and Agano Party’s David Mwaure said they would not mind a KIEMS-based identification provided there were safeguards in place to guarantee free, fair, credible and verifiable results.
“I have no issue with the electronic voter identification system. We are living in a digital error and only a fool would choose manual system over electronic if given an option,” said Mwaure.
The Kenya Kwanza camp asked to be furnished with the KPMG audit report on the voters register and an assurance that the commission will take action against those who violently interrupt their campaigns.
In his response, IEBC Chief Executive Officer Hussein Marajan said the commission is not ruling out the use of the manual register as a last resort mechanism.
The commission however noted that it was awaiting the outcome of a suit challenging the use of a KIEMS-based register before taking a final position.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati urged the aspirants to preach peace regardless of their political differences and ensure Kenya remains peaceful.
“Mine is to remind you that you are only competitors not enemies. Preach peace to your supporters and let us work together to have a peaceful election and remain peaceful even after the election,” Chebukati urged.
A total of 22.1 million people have been registered as voters according to the electoral commission.
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