Kenya's apex court set to hear 3 presidential elections petitions

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 00:23:29|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Supreme Court is this week set to start the hearing of three election petitions three months after nullifying Aug. 8 outcome.

The Oct. 26 repeat poll has been challenged by the former Assistant Minister Harun Mwau and another by human rights activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa.

The petitioners have argued that the repeat poll is a nullity because the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed to subject candidates to fresh nominations, after the poll was invalidated.

Another petition filed by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDG) wants National Super Alliance leaders found culpable for violence and disruption of elections.

The judges will converge on Tuesday morning for a pre-trial conference. In the conference, parties choose the lead counsel and time to be allocated to each party.

The court has six days to hear and determine the three cases, with the last day of the judgment being Nov. 20.

All the parties had filed their responses and submissions, alongside issues for determination. Parties seeking to join the case as interested parties and amicus curiae (friend of the court) had also filed their applications.

Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance was the first to file his application, seeking to join the case. Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai and Law Society of Kenya also filed applications to join the cases as amicus curiae.

Parties are also expected to have framed issues to be determined by the court. On its part, IEBC had framed four issues for determination.

The electoral body wants the court to declare that they conducted the fresh presidential election within the strict confines of the constitution and the electoral laws and that President Uhuru Kenyatta was duly elected as the president.

The commission further wants the court to declare that there is no requirement for nomination in a fresh presidential election where the nomination of the candidates was not in issue in a previously invalidated presidential election. IEBC will also be seeking costs of the suit.

In response to the petitions, NASA accuses President Kenyatta of resorting to improper means by corruptly luring opposition supporters and politicians to his side as he campaigned for the Oct. 26 repeat poll.

On its part, the Institute for Democratic Governance wants the judges to determine whether they have the jurisdiction to hear and determine the petition and whether NASA principals led by Odinga committed election offences and engaged in serious electoral malpractices and or irregularities.

The organization further wants the court to determine whether the public has suffered loss and damage as a result of NASA's acts and conduct and what are the appropriate orders to be made by the court, if they are found culpable.

In the petition, the organization through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi alleges that Nasa's "irreducible minimums" were set unilaterally with the intention to undermine the independence of the Commission and to usurp its constitutional mandate.

The lawyer further says Odinga, his running Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) were determined to ensure that the fresh election did not take place.