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Parties trade accusations over stopped election

By | May 22nd 2011

By Standard Team

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission officially called off the Kamukunji by-elections even as ODM and PNU continued to trade accusations over its cancellation.

The PNU alliance yesterday vowed to move to court and challenge the grounds for stopping the Monday Kamukunji by-election.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka pointed an accusing finger at ODM leadership accusing the party of hatching the scheme to stop the by-election.

"We are convinced that ODM is behind all this. They want the former MP Simon Mbugua to contest in the election so that he can split PNU votes," claimed Kalonzo.

ODM’s rejoinder

Kalonzo who was among PNU leaders campaigning for the party’s candidate, Yusuf Hassan Abdi, at Kamunkunji grounds, said PNU would be in court on Monday to contest the decision but urged the PNU supporters not to give up.

Kalonzo who was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Public Health Minister, Beth Mugo, and five MPs said they would ensure PNU retains the seat.

Uhuru urged PNU supporters to remain united and reject leaders from the party who have defected and want to contest the by election.

But as if in a rejoinder, three ODM MPs have also claimed the stopping of the by-elections was a PNU plot, after the party sensed ODM candidate Ibrahim Ahmed was headed for a win.

MPs Hassan Joho, Amason Kingi (Magarini) and Rachel Shebesh (nominated) claimed PNU panicked when the election date neared and they realised their candidate would lose.

Other three ODM legislators have called on Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) to ignore court orders stopping Monday’s Kamukunji by-election and proceed with the exercise as scheduled.

Ignore order

ODM chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo, legislators John Mbandi (Gwasi) and Edwin Yinda (Alego/Usonga), said IIEC should defy the order.

The New Vision Party (NVP) has however welcomed the High Court decision and termed it a good precedent.

The party Organising Secretary Okuku Miregi dismissed leaders who are shocked by the ruling, saying justice has been done to the party’ candidate Paul Mwangi Waweru.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has disagreed with Justice Daniel Musinga’s ruling. Mutula said it was unfortunate to block an election process that has gone this far.

"I am completely dissatisfied with the ruling. I do not agree with the judgement at all," he said, adding that he needed to read the judgement on Monday to digest it.

Metropolitan Minister Njeru Githae said the taxpayer might pay about Sh160 million over the injunction placed against the by-election.

He faulted the courts for failing to put into consideration the loss Kenyans might bear to compensate the candidates in the race.

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