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Raila, Uhuru split over inclusion of other candidates in repeat presidential election

By Kamau Muthoni | Published Tue, September 19th 2017 at 00:00, Updated September 19th 2017 at 12:25 GMT +3
Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot (R) with his Deputy Emmanuel Nzai addresses the media in Nairobi on Friday 15/09/17 where he called on IEBC to resign over election irregularities. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga are divided on whether the other six candidates should participate in the fresh presidential election.

Uhuru said the Supreme Court already decided in 2013 that such a repeat election should be a two-horse race while Raila said the exclusion of the other candidates amounts to discrimination.

The two gave their replies in a case filed by Thirdway Alliance's Ekuru Aukot (pictured), who is seeking to have another chance at the ballot after the nullification of the presidential poll.

In opposition, Uhuru said the issue of the other candidates was never raised in the case and thus the 2013 decision that a fresh election should be between two contestants in the case is still alive.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati is also opposed to having other candidates in the race.

He said since Mr Aukot never contested the August election, he cannot be included in the fresh race.

"I verily believe the applicant is not eligible, having not filed a petition of his own or being included by the petitioners as a third petitioner," replied Chebukati.

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The electoral boss said he acted in good faith when he gazetted that the face-off should be between Mr Odinga and the incumbent.

"The electoral commission, guided by the position expounded by this court, acted in good faith and was mindful of the Constitution at all times."

Aukot went back to the Supreme Court, complaining that his right to contest for a political position had been breached and that a fresh election should be a face-off between all those who were on the ballot.

"I believe my political right and that of my constituents as enshrined in the Constitution are threatened, violated and infringed by the decision of IEBC and Chebukati to exclude me from the fresh election without lawful justification," said Aukot.

It will now be left to Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a bench to determine Aukot’s case before October 17.


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