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Jubilee's candidate for the Kibra by-election McDonald Mariga (centre) presents his nomination papers to IEBC officials in company of Nominated MCA Anne Thumbi (right) and his supporter Abdi Ali Hussein. [David Gichuru, Standard]
McDonald Mariga has filed a petition at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s Disputes Resolution Committee against Tuesday’s invalidation of his candidature for the Kibra by-election slated for November 7.

His move comes barely a day after the former Harambee Stars captain was disqualified by the electoral commission on grounds that his details were missing in the voter's register.

"I have verified and checked and I could not find his details. At this point, my hands are tied. We have invalidated Mariga's nomination," IEBC Kibra Returning Officer Beatrice Muli said.

Mariga’s appeal, however, does not come as a surprise because, on Tuesday, he asked his supporters to stay calm and wait for the appeal after Ms. Muli advised him to address the matter to the committee before seven days – which is the timeline for one to file an appeal.

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“I have filed the complaint to challenge the decision of the Returning Officer Beatrice Muli for invalidating my nomination as a candidate for the Jubilee Party. The decision violates my rights and fundamental freedom protected by the Constitution and the Election Act,” read Mariga’s affidavit in summary.

According to the petition, he claims to have registered as a voter at Kariakor in Starehe Constituency on August 26, 2019 which is just two weeks after the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi declared the seat vacant.

Mariga said that he had met all the requirements for contesting a political seat quoting Section 5 (1) saying that law allows for continuous voter registration.

“I verily believe to be true that the law allows for continuous registrations as voter under the Election Act Section 5(1) and the voter registers are being updated continuously as per the respected laws,” read the affidavit.

But according to section 5 (1) b of the Elections Act, all electoral activities including voter registration must stop upon declaration of a vacancy.

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The fate of Mariga’s political debut is now in the hands of the IEBC Disputes Resolution Committee.

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