Bring on the petition, Jubilee tells NASA as Church leaders hail Raila's move

Raila Odinga

Jubilee Party leaders welcomed the decision by National Super Alliance (NASA) to contest the election in the Supreme Court.

The leaders said NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s change of heart was in line with the calls made by President Uhuru Kenyatta, all observer missions involved in the elections, religious leaders and the international community.

“Everybody, the voices of reason, have been urging those not satisfied with the outcome of the polls to petition in court. Let their lawyers now bring the evidence before court and I am certain our lawyers and those from IEBC will counter all the evidence they come up with,” said National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.

Mr Duale, however, took issue with Raila for appearing to intimidate the Supreme Court judges, even before he files his petition.

He said the claim by Raila that the petition will provide the judges an avenue to redeem themselves after the court dismissed his 2013 petition, was meant to intimidate the judicial officers.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki exuded confidence that Jubilee would win the court battle, maintaining that President Uhuru Kenyatta had won the election fairly.

“We have been ready for NASA any day, any time, anywhere. Even if there is any other court they will wish to go after losing in the Supreme Court, we are ready for them. Even if its before an international court,” said Kindiki.

The Tharaka Nithi Senator-elect described NASA’s petition as a “case to nowhere”.

He said it will only prolong their “definite loss”, which was sealed decisively through the ballot.

He however said it was their constitutional right to challenge the election in an attempt to resuscitate their “sealed fate”.

“No amount of litigation or agitation will resuscitate this fate which was sealed emphatically at the ballot. Theirs is like that case of a terminally ill patient who keeps on taking painkillers to relieve pain, even though knowingly he is facing death,” Kindiki said.

Also hailing the move were church leaders, who termed it the right move for the country, especially in nurturing democracy.

“We have always maintained leaders must follow the constitutional ways of resolving disputes, rather than resulting to violence. It is a good move that he (Raila) has chosen the courts over the streets,” said Eldoret Catholic Bishop Cornelius Korir.

National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), termed the move an excellent idea that is recognised in the law.

“It will afford Kenyans the opportunity to hear and see the evidence to be adduced. It affirms our institution’s call even before the election that those dissatisfied with the outcome seek redress in court,” said NCCK General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja.

Evangelical Alliance of Kenya’s Mark Kariuki, said Raila taken the decision after the declaration of the results to avert the chaos.

“If immediately after the declaration was made he told his supporters that he would file a petition, I am sure we would not have witnessed the fracas that led to the deaths. It is a good idea to move to court,” he said.

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