Supreme Court to hear case seeking to stop Thursday poll

The Supreme Court will Wednesday morning decide whether or not the re-run of the country’s presidential election can go ahead this Thursday.

The court will hear an urgent petition from three voters on Wednesday to have the poll postponed – the day before the election is due to take place.

Despite the government announcing Wednesday to be a public holiday, the courts will remain operational in light of the ongoing cases related to the Thursday poll.

Chief Justice David Maraga has certified the application by the voters as urgent and directed the petitioners to immediately file and serve their written submissions as the matter will be heard Wednesday.

The three voters have moved to the Supreme Court seeking to stop IEBC from conducting the 26th Octover repeat poll.

The three, Khelef Khalia, Samweul Monochi and Gacheke Gachihi attribute their decision to IEBC’s lack of preparedness and threats to its employees which they argue may prejudice the outcome of the election.

They claim that there exists active sabotage and frustration of the fresh election and therefore IEBC lacks the ability and capacity to conduct a free, fair and credible poll.

They further argue that the withdrawal of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka triggered the vacation of the fresh presidential election by operation of law.

Elsewhere, lawyers representing President Uhuru Kenyatta want the court to dismiss a petition by former Kilome MP Harun Mwau seeking to stop fresh presidential elections on grounds that IEBC did not conduct fresh nominations.

Lawyer Fred Ngatia told the court that although nomination is a prerequisite for conducting an election, where there is more than one candidate, the election should be left to proceed.

He argued that disputes relating to a presidential election are within the mandate of the Supreme Court and should therefore not be litigated within the high court’s jurisdiction.

President Kenyatta officially won the first election, on Aug. 8, by 1.4 million votes, but the Supreme Court annulled that vote on Sept. 1 over procedural irregularities.

The main opposition candidate Raila Odinga has cited one such ruling as a reason for boycotting what he calls a “sham election”.

The Kenyan constitution said fresh elections must be held within 60 days of nullified ones.

  

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