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NASA bosses must accept poll defeat or go to court

UREPORT
By Benard Amaya | August 15th 2017

The dispute arising from announcement of the presidential election results is assuming a dangerous trajectory. Several people have already been killed in violent street protests. Police officers have denied shooting innocent people dead.

While NASA has every right to reject the outcome, the means for settling the dispute should be legal, peaceful and one that does not jeopardiSe the stability of the country.

Election processes world over face challenges. However, what matters is how the resultant disputes are resolved. Mature democracies use constitutionally established institutions to resolve election disputes. Kenya is a progressive society founded on one of the best constitutions. Our Judiciary enjoys great independence and is capable of dealing with complex legal issues.

The Judiciary has emerged as one of the most autonomous institutions. Many cases have been brought before the courts and have been determined quickly and fairly.

NASA filed numerous cases in the run up to the elections and won a number of them. To most Kenyans, this was a vote of confidence in the courts. That is why Kenyans were shocked to hear NASA leaders say they will not go to court to resolve the poll dispute.

The change of heart by Raila Odinga and his team paints them in bad light. They are likely to throw this country into anarchy if they fail to address their grievances through the courts. This would be scary, to say the least. Therefore, it is imperative for NASA to either go to court or forever keep their peace.

Only a court process, not street protests, will help the country get the truth of exactly what transpired during elections. Declarations by judges will also point out areas that need electoral reforms. And who knows, NASA may go to court and win. A vote of confidence in the poll process by the international community puts the Opposition in an awkward position.

EAC, the AU, Carter Foundation and the EU have expressed satisfaction with the way the elections were conducted. The UN has also commended the electoral commission ‘for conducting credible elections’. How will NASA navigate these strong endorsement using street protests? I think NASA has very limited options. Benard Amaya, Nairobi.

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