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ELECTION 2022

IEBC dismisses petition seeking to block Moses Kajwang' from Homa Bay race

POLITICS
By MOSES NJAGIH and ROSELYNE OBALA | Jan 21st 2015 | 2 min read

NAIROBI: The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has declined to bar Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Moses Kajwang’ from the Homa Bay senatorial race.

The commission’s Disputes Resolution Committee declared ODM has a right to field a candidate to vie for the seat that was left vacant by Otieno Kajwang’, who died last year in November.

A petitioner, Isaac Aluochier, had urged the electoral body to impose a penalty on ODM for alleged irregularities in the nominations for its senatorial elections in the 2013 General Election, on grounds that the party nominated the late Kajwang’ as its candidate when he was still a Cabinet minister, thus a State Officer.

Aluochier, who appeared before the Commission’s Disputes Resolution Committee chaired by the electoral body’s vice chairperson Lillian Mahiri-Zaja, had relied on the stipulations of Article 92(2) (a) of the Constitution, which bar nomination of State Officers to contest in elections, to stop the Orange party from fielding its candidate.

CRACK WHIP

He had urged the commission to slap the penalty stipulated in Section 72(2) of the Election’s Act on ODM as they had knowingly nominated the late Kajwang’ when he was still serving as a minister, thus was not qualified to be nominated.

The stated provisions stipulate that a party that engages in such an irregularity should be punished by being denied the chance to field a candidate in the subsequent elections.

Aluochier wanted ODM disqualified from participating in the by-election. He had thus urged IEBC to crack the whip and visit the penalty on ODM in the February by-elections and consequently bar the younger Kajwang’ from contesting on the party’s ticket.

But in its ruling, the committee dismissed the grounds raised, terming them as time-barred.

“It is noteworthy that it is now close to 22 months since the late Kajwang’ was elected as senator. The complainant in the mentioned period never moved either to this committee or a court of law to challenge his election,” ruled the commission.

The committee found that the late Kajwang’ was shielded under the transitional provisions of the Constitution to be nominated while holding the Cabinet position.

“Guided by the transitional provision, the complainant’s contention cannot stand. On whether the party has a right to field a candidate in the said by-election; ODM as well as Kajwang’ have rights to political expression. That right must be respected and protected accordingly,” ruled the committee.

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