By JUDY OGUTU
The move by Parliament to allow party hopping among MPs has been challenged in court. Also in contention is a decision to amend the law allowing unsuccessful presidential candidates to be nominated to Parliament.
Friends of Raila (Fora), a political lobby group, has filed an urgent case at the High Court in Nairobi seeking to block the Attorney General from gazetting or enacting the Miscellaneous Amendment Act 2012 touching on the Political Parties Act 2012 and the Elections Act, 2011.
They want the court to issue a conservatory order restraining the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from accepting any party list purporting to nominate unsuccessful presidential candidates or any other person pursuant to Parliament’s decision to amend the two laws.
When the case came up before High Court yesterday, Justice Mumbi Ngugi declined to issue temporary orders.
She said such orders couldn’t be issued at this stage because all parties should be heard.
She certified the case as urgent and directed them to serve other parties. They argue that the amendments are not what was contemplated by the Constitution.
They say Parliament breached or ignored provisions of the Constitution, especially Article 21 (3) that provides that all State organs and all public officers have a duty to address the needs of vulnerable groups within the society.
According to Fora, those affected are vulnerable people such as women, the aged, disabled, youth and minority communities.
Fora’s officials Micah Kigen, Hassan Omar Hassan and Eluid Owalo have sued the AG, IEBC and the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution.
Through their advocate, Mr Anthony Oluoch, they claim Parliament has infringed on the supremacy of the Constitution and sabotaged the sovereign power of the people of Kenya.
“Less than two years down the line the Constitution is under real threat, which Kenyans in exercise of their rights under the Constitution must fight to protect,” Oluoch argued.
“This is the mother of all battles, a fight against a dictatorship of, not the Executive or the Presidency, but the National Assembly, a rogue Parliament intent on robbing Peter to pay Paul only that Paul happens to be themselves, the MPs. It is a battle not only for the soul of this nation but of the soul and spirit of the Constitution Kenyans passed in 2010, after 40 years of painful struggle,” the court was told.
The case comes up on July 3.