29 November 2012

Kenya: Integrity Case Against Uhuru and Ruto Withdrawn

A case challenging the eligibility of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to vie for the presidency has been withdrawn.

The three judge bench hearing the integrity case allowed the petitioners' lawyer Ambrose Weda to withdrew the petition earlier today. Weda said that a fresh case which will include the names of all the presidential candidates will be drawn. Weda said the new case might be filed later today.

The case against Kenyatta and Ruto was filed earlier this year by Kenya Youth Parliament and the Kenya Youth League, as well as Patrick Njuguna, Augustino Netto and Charles Omanga.

The lobby groups sought to bar Uhuru and Ruto from vying for the presidency as the ICC charges against them are serious offences under the Kenyan and international laws.

They argued that allowing the two to run for public office would lead to " chaos and tantamount to perpetuating a culture of impunity." They also wanted the court to permanently restrain the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from accepting the nomination of any candidate who has been committed to trial for serious criminal charges under Kenyan and international law.

They also sought a declaration that the presumption of innocence in favour of Uhuru and Ruto should not override the need to uphold the principles of the constitution, which has placed specific requirements or standards for public office holders including a high level of integrity which they say the two do not meet.

The petitioners based their argument on section 73 of the constitution which states: "The guiding principles of leadership and integrity include (a) election/selection to office on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability (b) objectivity and impartiality in decision making and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favouritism other improper motives and corrupt practices."

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