The Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court’s ruling that the next General Election in Kenya will be held in March 2013. A majority bench ruled that the March 4, 2013, date set out by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) be “adhered to”.

Only Justice Martha Koome issued a dissenting ruling. The judge ruled that the polls should be held on or before January 15, 2013. Justice Koome ruled that Parliament’s life should not exceed a five-year cycle and said the House should be dissolved on November 14, 2012.

She ruled that the High Court misinterpreted the Constitution and the two alternatives given by court were unconstitutional. The judge declared them null and void. However, four appellate judges ruled that Kenyans will go to the polls in March next year.

Judges Erastus Githinji, Kalpana Rawal, Hannah Okwengu and David Maranga upheld a decision reached by the High Court in January regarding the election date. Justices Isaac Lenaola, David Majanja and Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the elections will be held in March, 2013 after the expiry of the current Parliament’s term unless the President and the Prime Minister agree in writing to dissolve the Coalition Government.

Following the decision and the failure by the two principals to indicate whether they will dissolve the government, the IEBC went ahead to fix the election date on March 4, 2013. However, two lobby groups, the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) and the Caucus for Women’s Leadership appealed against the High Court ruling claiming that the judges misinterpreted the Constitution.



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