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Countdown continues : less than 24 hrs to challenge Uhuru’s win

There are now less than 24 hrs for anyone who wants to file a petition challenging President Kenyatta’s win at the Supreme Court. The court will decide whether Mr. Kenyatta can assume office for a second term on November 14 at the earliest possible date.

On October 30th IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati   announced Uhuru as the winner of the repeat election.  If no petition is filed, the Constitution grants that the president-elect be sworn in on the first Tuesday after 14 days since the October 30 announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Article 141(2) of the Constitution specifies: “The President-elect shall be sworn in on the first Tuesday following – (a) the fourteenth day after the date of the declaration of the result of the presidential election, if no petition has been filed under Article 140.

“In the occasion of a failed presidential election petition, President Uhuru could take the oath of office on November 28.”The President-elect shall be avowed in on the first Tuesday after – (b) the seventh day following the date on which the court makes a verdict declaring the election to be valid, if any petition has been filed under Article 140,” states the Constitution. The Supreme Court has to make its decision on a presidential petition filed today before November 20. But a successful petition could set off events that could draw out to January next year.

This is because if the election will be negated a second time, IEBC will have to carry out another election in 60 days. Anybody disputing the election must deposit Sh1 million shillings as security. The grounds upon which a petition may be filed include validity of the conduct of a presidential election, validity of the qualification of a President-elect, commission of an election offence; validity of the nomination of a presidential candidate or any other grounds the court deems, provided such grounds shall not be frivolous, vexatious or scandalous.

“In 14 days following filing of a petition, the Supreme Court shall listen to and determine the petition and its verdict is final,” the law says. It is broadly likely that besides Raila’s National Super Alliance (NASA), civil society groups critical of the result of the October 26 repeat presidential election could file the petition today. Last week, Jubilee Party filed a preventative petition in quest of a declaration to endorse Uhuru’s election in the October 26 repeat election. The petition filed by Jubilee’s Pokot South MP David Pkosing intends to tackle the authenticity concerns raised by Raila by asking the judges to rule that Uhuru was truly elected in spite of the NASA boycott and the failure to carry out elections in 25 constituencies considered NASA strongholds.

Mr Pkosing argues his fear was as a effect of the likelihood of questioning the legality of Uhuru’s win based on the 25 constituencies that did not take part in the election and the low voter turnout occasioned by NASA’s pulling out from the race. His lawyer Kibe Mungai cites Raila and his NASA co-principals’ intents were to set off a political crisis to compel the creation of another Government not visualized by the supreme law.

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