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Fears of major split at IEBC as Chebukati walks out of critical meeting

Details have emerged of a major split within the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)  just days to repeat presidential poll.

According to sources privy to The Saturday Standard,Mr Chebukati walked out of a plenary meeting on Wednesday after differing with his colleagues on the impact of Raila Odinga’s withdrawal from the October 26 polls.

However, after a lengthy haggling, the chairman ‘excused himself’ and left the meeting saying he had other commitments and asked CEO Ezra Chiloba to summarise what they had discussed and communicate to the country.

Shortly after leaving, commissioners Roselyn Akombe and Margaret Mwachanya followed him, leaving the other four behind.

“Looks like the chairman was frustrated and didn’t want to own the decision of the plenary,” a source at IEBC said.

This happened even as other reports emerged that gazettement of presidential candidates following the High Court ruling failed to be effected after Chebukati allegedly refused to sign it off.

The Saturday Standard confides that Chebukati had introduced a proposal to change the elections date from October 26, a move that was rejected by all the other six commissioners.

Chebukati had sought to peg his argument on Raila’s move to withdraw from the elections and the 2013 Supreme Court opinion which opined that if one candidate withdraws or dies before elections, IEBC should organise fresh polls in 90 days.

As the discussions neared closure, Chebukati walked out leaving his colleagues to come up with a statement that was sent to the media at about 8pm.
ALSO READ:Panic as IEBC Ordered To Move Out of Anniversary Towers With Immediate Effect [Letter]
But the commissioners opposed Chebukati, saying his suggestion could not hold because Odinga’s withdrawal was irregular in the first place because he had not signed Form 24A.
Unlike in other statements, which bear either the name of Chebukati or Chiloba, the unsigned statement did not bear any name.
And perhaps in what signals Chebukati’s frustration, on Thursday he wrote a memo saying he will be out of office for five days from Friday to Tuesday.
The incident highlights the split in the commission with just 12 days to the repeat polls with insiders painting a picture of a body whose 7-member team do not read from the same script.

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