October 20, 2017

Raila’s poll plan thwarted by High Court ruling on Aukot

Thirdway Alliance Presidential Candidate Dr Ekuru Aukot [www.the-star.co.ke]

High Court’s ruling on Wednesday directing the IEBC to include Thirdway Alliance’s Dr Ekuru Aukot in the repeat polls has scuttled NASA’s plan.

NASA’s Raila Odinga withdrew from the race on Tuesday.

However, on Wednesday, Justice John Mativo of the High Court ruled that IEBC breached Aukot’s constitutional and political right in failing to include him in the repeat polls.

This expressly ruined NASA strategy that depended on a scenario with only two contenders-one of whom withdraws.

Raila in making his decision relied on paragraphs 289 and 290 of the 2013 Supreme Court presidential election petition ruling.

The paragraph read: “Suppose, however, the candidates, or a candidate who took part in the original election, dies or abandons the electoral quest before the scheduled date: then the provisions of Article 138(8) (b) would become applicable, with fresh nominations ensuing.”

But Justice Mativo ruled that the clauses in the 2013 ruling are “obiter dictum” meaning it was not binding and therefore cannot be relied on as a precedent.

In their thinking, NASA leaders had it that after their withdrawal, the elections would be called off and IEBC compelled to conduct a fresh presidential election within 90 days.

But as it has turned out, Aukot has opened a new frontline which will also include the other five candidates who contested for Presidency in the August said 8 polls.

“The logical construction which to me would serve the public interest is that those who participated in the invalidated election do qualify to contest in the fresh election,” said the judge in his ruling.

Alliance for Real Change Presidential candidate Abduba Dida, and independent candidates Joseph Kavigah and Abduba Dida, former minister Joseph Nyagah, Prof. Michael Wainaina and Japeth Kaluyu will be on the ballot.

Earlier in the day, IEBC in a statement said Raila was still in the race because he did not submit a dully signed Form 24A which is a requirement in law.

Raila only wrote a letter to the IEBC communicating his withdrawal from the race.

However, head of NASA secretariat Willis Otieno said Raila is not required to fill any Form 24A since there were no fresh nominations conducted for the poll as guided by regulation 52 of the Election General Regulations.

But in many firsts, NASA is grappling with the thought of still going for repeat polls on October 26.

IEBC noted in Wednesday that the commission though under pressure, is ready for the polls.

“Commissioners have learnt pressure is part of the game. So normally when it comes, we find ways to mitigate it,” said IEBC Communications Manager Andrew Limo according to the Star.

 

 

 

 

 

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