KENYAN COURT SUSPENDS LIMITS ON CAMPAIGN SPENDING OF CAMPAIGN FINANCING ACT

The High Court here has suspended section 6 of Kenya’s Election Campaign Financing Act 2013 which sets limits on campaign spending following a challenge by opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

ODM had gone to court to challenge the regulation which also requires candidates to appoint campaign managers published by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) late last year.

Justice Roselyn Aburili said Thursday the ODM had a valid case which needed to be heard urgently, considering that the next general election was quickly approaching. The elections are scheduled for August this year.

The ODM said the IEBC’s decision to set limits for campaign spending was unfair and discriminatory. Their lawyer, Antony Oluoch, told the court that the IEBC’s requirement that all candidates for elective posts appoint authorized persons and form campaigning committees was unreasonable.

The ODM argued that the Election Campaign Financing Act, 2013 which came into force on Dec 7, 2016 is likely to disenfranchise many candidates and that if the court failed to intervene, the rights to fair competition would be violated.

In a gazette notification, IEBC had said it had set spending limits for political parties in accordance with the IEBC Act 2011 with the expenditure to be exhausted between Feb 8 and Aug 8, 2017 when the next general election will be held.

Presidential candidates are limited to spending 5.25 billion shillings (about 51 million US dollars) while other candidates, including those seeking to become governors, senators and woman representatives, can use up to 433 million shillings.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK