KENYA’S SUPREME COURT TO RULE WEDNESDAY WHETHER THURSDAY’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAN PROCEED

NAIROBI, Kenya’s Supreme Court will decide Wednesday whether the fresh election for the Presidency. hich it had ordered to be held can go ahead as scheduled on Thursday.

The Court will hear an urgent petition from three voters to have the vote postponed. The government announced on Tuesday that Wednesday, the eve of polling, will be a public holiday but the courts will remain operational in light of the ongoing cases related to Thursday’s election.

Chief Justice David Maraga has certified the application by the voters as urgent and directed the petitioners to immediately file and serve their written submissions as the matter will be heard Wednesday. The three voters had petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to stop the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting the fresh poll.

The three — Khelef Khalia, Samweul Monochi and Gacheke Gachihi — based their application on what they claim is the IEBC’s lack of preparedness and threats to its employees which they argue may prejudice the outcome of the election.

They claim that there exists active sabotage and frustration of the fresh election and therefore the IEBC lacks the ability and capacity to conduct a free, fair and credible poll. They further argue that the withdrawal of the main opposition candidate for the presidency, Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, and his running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, from the election triggered the vacation of the fresh presidential election by operation of law.

Lawyers representing President Uhuru Kenyatta meanwhile asked the Court to dismiss a petition by former Kilome Member of Parliament Harun Mwau seeking to stop fresh presidential election on grounds that the IEBC did not conduct fresh nominations.

Lawyer Fred Ngatia told the court that although nomination is a prerequisite for conducting an election, where there is more than one candidate, the election should be left to proceed.

He argued that disputes relating to a presidential election are within the mandate of the Supreme Court and should therefore not be litigated within the high court’s jurisdiction.

President Kenyatta officially won the first election, during the Aug 8 general election, by 1.4 million votes, but the Supreme Court annulled that vote on Sept 1 over procedural irregularities and directed that a fresh election within the stipulated period between the two leading candidates.

The Kenyan Constitution said fresh elections must be held within 60 days of nullified results.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK