MPs propose changes to live streaming of presidential results

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Change of results for the presidential election as announced at the polling station of the Elections won’t be available as an Amendment Bill is currently before Parliament to contain the situation.

If the amendment is  enacted, the new law will also determine how the presidential election results in the August 9, 2022 General Election will be relayed as the Bill proposes to ban live streaming of the presidential results either by television or online platforms.

Under the current law as enshrined in the constitution, the electoral commission is expected to provide information and establish a mechanism for the live streaming of results as announced at the polling stations.

The amendment  bid placed  by the Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya to shorten the publication period of the Bill from 14 days to seven was defeated after the opposing UDA party  side voted against it with  62 votes to 43 of the pro Handshake team.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2021, also seeks to have the decision of the High Court on a petition filed against a governor heard and dispensed off by the High Court while that of a Member of the County Assembly  be determined by a Resident Magistrate’s court.

The Bill further seeks to safeguard the transmission of the presidential results from the polling stations to the national tallying centre.

The law provides that Presiding Officers appointed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) electronically transmit the image of the relevant form containing the presidential results to the Constituency Returning Officer.

The Constituency Returning Officer is then required to collate the results, feed it into the relevant form, send the image and physically deliver the forms to the national tallying centre which has however, been marred with credibility issues.

The amendment  Bill further recommends that a Presiding Officer shall electronically transmit the image of the results in the prescribed form to the national tallying centre.

“The presiding officer shall then deliver the results in person from the polling station to the constituency tallying centre. The Constituency Returning Officer shall then collate the results in the prescribed form and deliver them in person from the polling station together with the collated form to the national tallying centre,” states the bill.

The Constituency Returning Officer will then transmit the tabulated results of an election of the president and deliver in person the results from his or her centre to the national tallying centre.

Under the current law, in case of an inconsistency between the electronically transmitted and the physically delivered results, the IEBC shall verify the results and the result which is an accurate record of the results tallied, verified and declared at the respective polling station shall prevail.

The bill also seeks to allow a candidate to be presented to the electorate on party primary or election ballot papers in the way in which the candidate has chosen to familiarise himself or herself to the electorate.

This Bill also  seeks to provide for the inclusion of a candidate’s popular name on a ballot paper while at the same time safeguarding the sanctity of the electoral process.

Further, to ensure that this flexibility does not prejudice a free and fair election in any way, the electoral commission would be required to approve the use of a popular name in an Election.

Under the stated new amendment  bill, it  states that one needs to be a resident, employed, carrying on a business or possess land or a residential building six months to the time of seeking the transfer of the targeted area.

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