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Opinion: Intimidating Judiciary, IEBC over appeal bad for opposition

By The Standard | Published Tue, May 16th 2017 at 00:00, Updated May 15th 2017 at 19:20 GMT +3
PHOTO:COURTESY

Last month, the High Court sitting in Nairobi ruled in a case filed by  Maina Kiai that presidential elections results announced from constituencies are final. Mr Kiai's petition sought to have three sections of the Elections Act that gave IEBC power to make amends to election results coming in from constituencies declared null and void.

The High Court's ruling did not, however, sit well with the electoral commission, for it filed an appeal against it.

IEBC's appeal, on the other hand, does not sit well with the Opposition, which has threatened a boycott of the August elections should the Court of Appeal overturn the High Court's ruling.

In effect, this means whichever way the Court of Appeal makes its ruling, outcome is already being subjected to political interpretation in the eyes of the public. Herein lays the danger.

Intimidating the Judiciary and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission are unacceptable and could be counter-productive to the Opposition.

The Opposition cannot always have its way unless it too, is pushing an agenda Kenyans know nothing about.

As an independent institution with internal laws that govern its day-to-day operations, IEBC should be allowed to plan for the coming elections without unnecessary distractions that could prove costly in the end. As the arbiter, IEBC should be setting the rules, not being dictated to on how to conduct the elections.

Equally important, IEBC should conduct itself in a manner that does not create room for doubt. It must conduct itself in a manner that cannot be construed to mean it does not have confidence in its own systems.

There is very little time between now and August and IEBC has no option but to demonstrate it has what it takes to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

Nothing should be left to chance for we cannot afford to take the perilous route the country went in 2008 when contested elections turned chaotic.

 


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