New legal battle as Uhuru team seeks a recount of votes

Jubilee alliance Party Vice Chairman David Murathe

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyers are scheduled to file a judicial review of the Supreme Court decision to annul his election, the Sunday Standard has established.

Highly placed sources within the President’s circles said the decision had been approved at the highest level and lawyers were busy fine-tuning the application. At the heart of the request for the review is a demand to have ballot boxes opened and all votes cast counted afresh openly and publicly.

The lawyers’ persuasion is that given the Supreme Court ordered preservation of the ballot boxes in their existing form and content, and considering that the Court finding was based on failures in result verification and transmission, there exists sufficient grounds for the application to be made.

Jubilee Party (JP) Vice Chairman David Murathe said the petition for judicial review will officially be filed next week with a view of having ballot boxes opened and votes counted.

“The first thing I need to tell you is that we are ready, completely ready for a fresh election. But it has become abundantly clear that our competitors are not interested in another election. Because the Supreme Court said the problem was in transmission, we would like the will of the people as expressed in the August 8th election to be validated and there will be no need for a repeat election,” he told the Sunday Standard.

“For us, the judicial review is extremely necessary because some facts have since emerged and as we speak, the Supreme Court registry is now a crime scene because the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has moved in to carry out an investigation. In the meantime, the President remains in office until another one is sworn-in,” he added.

The move comes days after the Supreme Court delivered full judgment annulling the August 8 presidential election.

It also comes at a time when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is walking a tightrope of conducting an election in line with the Supreme Court order.

The move could complicate matters even further because should there be an order for re-count, IEBC would have two parallel process to conduct; re-count of presidential ballots and preparing for the October 26th election.

This comes even as the NASA leadership maintained that there would be no election unless the irreducible minimum conditions are met.

Yesterday, NASA campaign manager Musalia Mudavadi called for changes in the IEBC Secretariat.

“This is not negotiable, NASA coalition demands that fresh election should be administered by a professional and nonpartisan officials. We demand that officials who are partisan or perceived as such should step aside and or be suspended during the planning and execution of the fresh election.” said Mudavadi.

He noted that IEBC has not purged the contempt it committed in regard to the orders of the Supreme Court. The IEBC is under obligation under Section 44 of the Elections Act to provide a system of technology that is transparent and verifiable.

Mudavadi said that it was therefore inappropriate and foolhardy for the IEBC to embark on the planning of a fresh election without full compliance with the Supreme Court orders and in the redeployment of technology in the fresh presidential election.

“We therefore demand audit of technology in full compliance with the law. Establish a transparent and accountable framework for integration of technology:

To ensure compliance with the principles set out in the Constitution and the electoral law, the IEBC must take steps to engender transparency and accountability in the electoral planning and infrastructure.

“Technology integration must be done transparently and must be amenable to a full audit by the IEBC and stakeholders,” said Mudavadi.