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Supreme Court explains why it threw out petitions

The court ruled that NASA candidate Raila Odinga did not formally withdraw from the election but only declared his intention to withdraw

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The Supreme Court on Monday explained why it dismissed two election petitions challenging the October 26 repeat election.

According to the six judges, there were nine issues for consideration from the two consolidated petitions.

One issue was whether the petitioners had the right to challenge the outcome and whether the case was a public interest litigation.

In a decision read by Justice Isaac Lenaola, the judges ruled that the petitioners had the right to sue. They said any Kenyan is free to challenge the presidential poll.

The court also ruled that there was no need for fresh nominations for the repeat presidential election after the first poll was voided.

On September 1, the Supreme Court had annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in the August 8 election.

Justice Lenaola also said the inclusion of Mr Cyrus Jirongo in the poll was okay because the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was guided by the law and court decisions.

“We therefore find no fault on the part of the commission to include Mr Jirongo in the repeat poll because they were guided by the court,” he said.

The judges also said the IEBC was guided by a court order in including all the parties in the repeat poll. All the presidential candidates in the August 8 election were included in the ballot in the repeat election.

The court also ruled that Nasa candidate Raila Odinga did not formally withdraw from the election but only declared his intention to withdraw.

The judges said Nasa and Mr Odinga did not fill in the requisite forms to officially pull out of the election, nor did they communicate the same to the IEBC.

And even if Mr Odinga withdrew from the election, the move would not have necessitated a cancellation of the poll, the judges added.

When reading the judgment, Justice Smokin Wanjala said the validity of an election cannot be challenged on the basis of whether the election was held in all the 290 constituencies.

This was in response to the question on whether failure to hold elections in all constituencies would void the poll.

The judges said they were not intimidated by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s statements that were made after they annulled the August 8 election.

READ: Nation CEO Joe Muganda quits to join energy firm

The court also dismissed the claim that the Jubilee Women’s Brigade intimidated people by wearing military-style clothes during campaigns.

On claims of irregularities, Justice JB Ojwang said the petitioners made general allegations without proving the claims.

He said the IEBC cannot be faulted for shifting some polling stations in Kibra and Mombasa because, as they noted, there was violence in some parts of the country that made it impossible to hold the poll in some areas.

All claims of irregularities have been effectively rebutted by the respondents, the judge said.

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