SECTIONS

IEBC responds to Aukot, says only court can revoke clearance of presidential candidates

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati speaks during a meeting of IEBC and presidential candidates.[Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says it will not revoke the nomination of the four presidential candidates already cleared to vie in the August General Election, and only the court has the power to do so. 

In a letter dated July 7, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said the commission's decision can only be reversed by a court order.

Chebukati was responding to Third Way Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot’s letter who had advised against gazetting names of the four candidates.

Aukot had mentioned the court's decision to quash a requirement that independent presidential hopefuls present signatures from a specified number of supporters before being cleared to vie.

"We do hope that you are able to decipher that the judgement means four presidential candidates that you purportedly cleared based on the unconstitutional Elections Regulation 18 (2) (C). The court has confirmed that your decision was unlawful and most importantly unconstitutional and went against the constitutional threshold in Article 137(1)(d)," read Aukot's letter. 

Justice Anthony Mrima ruled that the court did not direct IEBC to include the names of the independent candidates on the ballot. 

Nonetheless, he observed it was unfair for the Chekubati-led commission to require the candidates to look for signatures and accompany them with the IDs while those who are vying after being nominated by their parties were not required to do the same.

“The differential treatment accorded to the independent candidates is not justified but infringes article 37 of the Constitution,” Justice Mrima said. 

 The commission said its actions are guided by the law and will not be intimidated by anyone.

The agency referenced the case of Ndyanayo vs Attorney General [2001] EA 495, where it held that; "Until the contrary is proved, a legislation is presumed to be constitutional construction that, if possible, a legislation should receive such a construction as will make it operative and not inoperative."

The commission said: " We must hasten to add that we are only answerable to the constitution and the law."