Back to Supreme Court as petition is filed against Uhuru’s October 26 win
Published on: November 06, 2017 04:30 (EAT)
Former Kilome Member of Parliament Harun Mwau has filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the validity of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in the October 26 repeat poll. Mwau claims that the electoral commission and its chairman Wafula Chebukati failed to conduct the fresh election in accordance with the Constitution and electoral laws as directed by the Supreme Court, hence, acted in contempt of court. He argues that failure by the IEBC to publish the nomination day in the gazette notice announcing the repeat poll was “unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, irregular and in violation of Articles in the Elections Act.” According to the former MP, in conducing a fresh election, the IEBC should have called for fresh application and submission of documents by all candidates seeking to vie and collected the prerequisite mandatory presidential candidates nomination fee of KSh. 200,000. Mwau further argues it was “discriminative, unfair, not transparent and contrary to the Constitution” for the IEBC to hold an election while two candidates – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – had campaigned for a longer period than the other five candidates who were allowed to vie 13 days prior to the October 26 election day. “Proceeding to conduct fresh presidential elections without nominated candidates, nominations, without fees, and without giving persons listed as candidates equal campaign period, directly affected the conduct and results of the fresh presidential elections of 26th October 2017,” reads part of the petition. Mwau’s petition comes a few hours before the deadline for the filing of petitions challenging the October 26 repeat presidential poll whose results were declared on Monday (October 30). Kenyatta garnered 7,483,895 votes while his main challenger Raila Odinga, who withdrew from the election, got 73,228 votes. The apex court will have four days to hear and determine the dispute, and if the case sails through the preliminary stage, the hearing will start on Monday, November 13. The court will have until November 16 to decide whether to uphold President Kenyatta’s win or to order for a fresh poll within 60 days. If Kenyatta’s re-election is upheld, he will be sworn in on November 23, which will be seven days after the Supreme Court issues its verdict. Meanwhile, a petitioner has filed an application at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) saying that the current Supreme Court bench, as constituted, is unfit to hear and determine a fresh presidential election petition on grounds that it does not meet both the constitutional threshold and technical aspect. Kelvin Njihia avers that since the Supreme Court pronounced illness of Justice Mohammed Ibrahim, the said judge has failed to perform his duty. Njihia claims that Justice Mohamed’s absence interferes with the functions of the Supreme Court as decisions of the highest court in the land are supposed to be made by an odd number bench, but now the judges are even in number hence a matter requires a vote. However, the law requires the Supreme Court to have a quorum of five judges to conduct its business.