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Dubai firm wins contract to print Kenyan presidential ballot

NAIROBI – Kenya’s Court of Appeal on Thursday overturned a High Court decision that stopped the printing of ballots by a Dubai-based company for next month’s presidential election.

The High Court earlier this month stopped the printing by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing after the opposition raised concerns about how the contract was awarded and alleged links between the firm and the family of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Leading opposition contender and former prime minister Raila Odinga has claimed a plot to rig the election by printing 2 million additional ballots. Kenyatta has denied the claims and accused the opposition of trying to sabotage the Aug. 8 vote.

The Court of Appeal ruled that it was unable to find evidence that the electoral commission awarded the contract irregularly, and that the High Court didn’t take into consideration the short amount of time remaining before the vote.

Kenyatta, who is running again, beat Odinga in 2013 with 50.07 percent of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff election. Odinga petitioned the Supreme Court alleging electoral fraud, but the court upheld Kenyatta’s victory.

Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing is owned by the Dubai-based Al Ghurair Group, which has interests in construction, petrochemicals, real estate and other industries.

Source: Alleastafrica and AP

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