Failure by the Electoral Commission to allow fresh nominations ahead of October 26th poll dominated oral submissions on Wednesday by lawyers representing former Kilome MP Harun Mwau in a petition challenging Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.
According to Mwau’s legal counsel, the nominations held before the August 8 presidential election, voided by the Apex Court on September 1, could not have been relied upon in the conduct of the October 26 repeat poll since the court had ordered for a fresh exercise.
Mwau’s lawyers further argued that Electoral Commission had adequate time to receive fresh nominations having been directed by the seven-bench judge to conduct a fresh poll in 60 days.
They further submitted that it would have been possible to receive fresh nominations since election regulations allow nominations to be conducted 21 days to an election.
“No candidate was nominated for the election on October 26. We’ve looked at the annexures of the third respondent (President Uhuru Kenyatta) and what they have annexed the certificate of nomination for August 8. That nomination expired upon the close of the poll the same day,” one of Mwau’s lawyer George Ouma argued.
Chief Justice David Maraga, however, put Lawyer Ouma to task by asking him to provide an authority before the court confirming that the pre-August 8 nominations had indeed expired.
“Can you give me an authority to the effect that that (August 8) nomination expired?” Justice Maraga asked.
“I don’t have an authority at hand but the authority we have is that before we can go to the electoral contest, people must be nominated as an express requirement of Article 138 of the Constitution,” Ouma responded.
“The issue here is the candidates who participated in the October 26 election were nominated for election on August 8. You argue that that nomination expired. What I want is an authority for the fact that that nomination expired and that they needed to go for a fresh election,” Justice Maraga pressed.
Ouma conceded his argument after efforts to back it with an authority proved futile.
Mwau’s petition raised the issue of nominations while a second petition filed by activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa raised a myriad of issues, claiming the just-concluded poll was marred by illegalities and irregularities.
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