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Why William Ruto wants LSK out of presidential petition

President-elect William Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua. [File, Standard]

President-elect William Ruto has asked the Supreme Court to lock out the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) from presidential election petition.

In an affidavit drawn by Kithure Kindiki and Associates Advocates dated August 28, 2022, Ruto argues the lawyers’ lobby cannot be neutral as Martha Karua is its member and also a former leader.

“The applicant has misrepresented material facts by pleading that the LSK has no connection to any party in this matter, which is FALSE, as the LSK is connected to the 2nd Petitioner,” Ruto’s affidavit reads in part.

“The rules of natural justice forbid the grant of the Application to the extent that the 2nd Petitioner is a prominent member and past leader of the applicant, which strips the Applicant requirement of independence and impartiality,”

The UDA party leader also argues that by allowing the LSK to join the case as an amicus curiae (friend of the court), the court would be offending the rules governing the friends of the court.

He also avers that allowing LSK in the case would obscure more than clarify the matter before the court.

He has also indicated that including LSK in the case is unlikely to add any value to the outcome of the court.

The Law Society of Kenya filed an application to be joined in the petitions at the Supreme Court challenging the declaration of Deputy President William Ruto as president-elect.

The society wants to be joined as amicus curiae on the grounds that it has the expertise to help the apex court reach a just decision.

“The society wants to be joined as a neutral party because of the public interest involved in the dispute surrounding the presidential election,” the society said in the application filed by Kililo Advocates.

The presidential petition filed by Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua s challenging the final presidential results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati on August 15.

LSK wants to help the court with three issues concerning the meaning of the standard of proof in an election petition, the value of rejected votes in the presidential election, and the role of the IEBC commission in tallying, verification, and declaration of results.