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Jubilee, NASA clash over more candidates in presidential election

By Rawlings Otieno and Geoffrey Mosoku | Published Fri, October 13th 2017 at 10:39, Updated October 13th 2017 at 11:00 GMT +3
Thirdway Alliance Party leader  Ekuru Aukot Photo:Courtesy

The Opposition has insisted that the electoral commission could not continue with preparations for the October 26 repeat presidential election.

This came a day after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced it would admit into the contest eight candidates who participated in the bungled August 8 poll ollowing a successful petition by Thirdway Alliance candidate Ekuru Aukot.

Lawyers Otiende Amollo, Nelson Havi and Norman Magaya questioned why IEBC had opened the door to the rest apart from Dr Aukot. They argued the High Court ruling by Justice John Mativo had no impact on Opposition leader Raila Odinga's withdrawal from the October 26 poll.

According to Mr Amollo, the MP for Rarieda, Raila's withdrawal extinguished the 60-day period within which the repeat presidential poll should be held.

“The law up to Tuesday was that if a presidential candidate withdraws from the race, then a fresh nomination ensues... Any subsequent activity done after the withdrawal is irrelevant and inconsequential,” he said.

IEBC said Raila had not filled Form 24A to formally communicate the withdrawal of his candidature as provided for by the Elections (General) Regulations.

COURT RULINGS

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Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen said it was hypocritical of the Opposition to welcome portions of court rulings like the order to reinstate Aukot while dismissing those that were counter to their positions.

Mr Murkomen said although Jubilee Party was opposed to the participation of Aukot, it would nevertheless respect the court's verdict and had no issues with the inclusion of the other six candidates.

“We are supporting the court order even though we were in that case and lost. This hypocrisy must end. NASA cannot go to court and win then start opposing,” Murkomen said, pointing out that NASA was party to the proceedings and supported Aukot's court case. 

NASA argued that the moment Raila withdrew from the race, a fresh nomination should have ensued immediately, with a fresh election after 90 days.

Amollo, Havi and Magaya all contend that IEBC used a 2013 Supreme Court opinion to gazette President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, and cannot therefore go against the ruling they used to force Raila to fill form 24A on his withdrawal.

NASa has cited the 2013 Supreme Court advisory to argue their case that a fresh presidential election contemplated under the circumstances given the withdrawal of Raila is one that requires fresh nominations.

 

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