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Petition seeking to nullify Baringo South MP’s election struck out

RIFT VALLEY
By By Luke Anami and Micheal Wesonga | June 17th 2013

By Luke Anami and Micheal Wesonga

Eldoret, Kenya: A High Court in Eldoret has struck out a petition seeking to nullify the election of Grace Kipchoim, Member of the National Assembly for Baringo South.

The petition filled by Charles Kamuren who vied for the Baringo South seat on a KANU ticket under the Amani Coalition had his petition struck out on grounds that it was not properly served.

Justice Lydia Achode struck out the petition after Kamuren who also vied for the same seat failed to serve Kipchoim within the stipulated period of 15 days set under the Elections Act.

“Any pleading filed and not served on the opposite party has no legal force. It cannot be dealt with by the court and no lawful order can be drawn from it. Service of pleading accords the opposite party the chance to be heard. It is my considered opinion that this is a petition that never was,” read her ruling in part.

This followed a successful application by Kipchoim through her lawyers Paul Gicheru and Robert Limo filed an application dated 14th may 2013 to strike out the petition for non-compliance with Rule 10(1) (c )and (d) of the elections (Parliamentary and County Election) petition rules , 2013.

The Petition had listed Kipchoim as the 1st respondent, the IEBC and Martin Kituyi Wekesa as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.

Kamuren who had vied on a KANU ticket had however filed an application dated 21st May 2013 seeking extension of time to effect service.

He also filed subsequent applications dated 14th May 2013 seeking leave to amend the petition and another dated 21st May 2013 seeking an order for delivery of ballot boxes in court.

But it was agreed by consent of all parties that all the applications be consolidated and thus all parties were required to file agreed or separate issues and written submissions when the matter came up for hearing on the 24th of May 2013.

The petitioner was among the six candidates that contested the Baringo South Member of National Assembly seat.

Kamuren, who scored 8, 202 was defeated by URP’s Kipchoim by a slim three votes margin having garnered 8, 205 votes upon which he sought for a recount of the votes.

Jubilant Kipchoim thanked God for the ruling as they sang Kalenjin celebration tunes with her constituents.

“We asked for votes with humility and never engaged in vote buying, now politics has come to an end let the real work begin,” she stated.

Limo thanked the judiciary for expeditiously dispensing the cases which is a departure for the past.

“I would like to thank them for adhering to the spirit and letter of the constitution unlike in the past when it used to take more than five years to receive justice,” he said.

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