April 9 swearing-in or another election?

Written By Michael Maunda on Saturday, March 30, 2013 | 6:07 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – The Supreme Court of Kenya which is mandated to resolve presidential disputes will make a decision either rejecting the petitions seeking to block the election of Uhuru Kenyatta or accept them.

If the court rules in favour of the petitioners – Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Africa Centre for Open Governance, then the country will hold another presidential election within 60 days.

The petitioners in their plea had asked the court to nullify the announcement made by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on March 9 declaring Kenyatta the president-elect.
In court, they argued that IEBC conducted a flawed election to favour the Jubilee presidential candidate over his closest contender, Coalition for Reform and Democracy candidate Odinga.

They also said IEBC had planned its election Information and Technology Systems to fail to the advantage of Kenyatta.

They have also questioned irregularities and inconsistencies in the tallying of presidential results in their bid to have the election nullified.

During the one week session they presented video evidence and other supporting documents to prove to the court that IEBC did not conduct presidential elections transparently and according to the Constitution.

The respondents however argued that it will be difficult to disband IEBC which according to the petitioners, lacks credibility hence cannot conduct another election.

The respondents have also said it will not be possible to develop another voters’ register within two months since the petitioners also have questioned the number of registered voters.

The respondents argued that the errors made in the election process were usual and were not done to favour the Jubilee candidate or any other political side hence the errors cannot warrant another election.

They also said IEBC conducted the election according to the law and announced the presidential results according to the constitutional timelines.

If the court decides in favour of the respondents, Kenyatta will be sworn in on April 9 to become Kenya’s fourth president.

The court is also likely to give recommendations after it issues its long awaited decision.
All eyes and attention are on Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga, Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u, Judges Jackton Ojwang, Philip Tunoi, Smokin Wanjala and Mohammed Ibrahim.

The six judges will make a judgement on the three petitions including the one that was against inclusion of rejected votes alongside the two that were calling for the nullification of the March 4, 2013 presidential election.