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Tribunal orders ODM to reconstitute board

By Kepher Otieno | Published Fri, April 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated April 20th 2017 at 20:19 GMT +3
NEB chairperson Judy Pareno

The Political Parties Tribunal has given the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) until 11am today to reconstitute the Kisumu County Elections Boards or face legal sanctions.

The decree comes after two people moved to the tribunal to challenge the appointment of the county elections board by the Judy Pareno-led National Elections Board (NEB).

The petitioners - Hezron Opiyo and John Oketch Ongere - who are members of the party, claim the board was biased and filled with Kisumu Senator Anyang' Nyong'o and Nyando MP Fred Outa's allies.

Under Section 40 of the Political Parties Act 2011, the tribunal is mandated to adjudicate on disputes between members of political parties. The two sought an immediate injunction to stop the nominations that had been slated for April 24, demanding that the NEB reconstitutes the Kisumu County Elections Board.

The tribunal, consisting of Kyalo Mbobu, Adeleid Mbithi, and Desma Atieno Nungo, issued the directive yesterday afternoon.

Mbobu, who chairs the tribunal, is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya branch.

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The complainants aver that Kennedy Ajwang', who is the acting ODM Kisumu County chairman, has been appointed to the elections board, yet he is the ultimate overseer of a free and fair election process.

Making him a member of the elections board will automatically compromise his neutrality, Mr Opiyo and Mr Oketch told the tribunal.