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1 Nov 2017

Raila’s Plan To Move To The Supreme Court Suffers Major Blow


NASA leader Raila Odinga’s plan to challenge the October 26 election at the Supreme Court has been dealt a new blow after new legal developments at the apex court.

It has now emerged that the next petition to be filed at the Supreme Court will be heard and determined under a new legal framework after the controversial election laws have been enacted.
The election laws pushed by the Jubilee team set very high standards for the annulment of a presidential petition.

On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed that he failed to sign the controversial laws after receiving complaints from different stakeholders.

“Some argued that I was changing the Rules of Engagement half-way through the game. Others argued to change the electoral law ahead of the 26th election is to privilege myself over the other competitors. And because law must be founded on reasoned national consensus, I listened to these voices. I did not sign the new Bill into Law,” Kenyatta stated.

However, the President failed to mention that he had also not returned the bill to Parliament, and that his inaction automatically made it law 14 days after it was passed by legislators.
The 14 days elapsed on Friday 27 but is pending publication in the Kenya Gazette before it can be operationalized.

Gazzettement must be done by Friday this week, being the expiry of seven days from the day it became law.

The implication is that any petition challenging the results of the repeat election will be heard after the new law has been operationalized.

The IEBC on Tuesday gazzetted Uhuru Kenyatta’s election as President-elect, opening the seven day window for petitions to be filed at the Supreme Court.

One of the significant provisions in the controversial law is Section 83 which states that an election will not be annulled on the basis of discrepancies in the forms used or by actions of rogue election officials.

Although the laws have since been challenged in a court petition filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, the opposition team is reportedly cautious of moving to the Supreme Court under such a tough legal framework.
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