23 January 2013

Kenya: IEBC to Hear Poll Appeals

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's Nomination Dispute Resolution committee has postponed its hearings to Thursday directing after complainants to serve affected parties.

The committee's chairperson Thomas Letangule says they will only start hearing the disputes once all the affected parties are served.

He announced that the committee had already received 110 complaints from politicians who were aggrieved from the recently concluded party primaries.

"The High Court has given us room, the complainants are here but none of the parties was ready to proceed because they were not served. We have no choice but to adjourn and issue a notice to all of them so that we proceed tomorrow (Thursday)," he said moments after complainants started presenting their disputes.

The committee was scheduled to start hearing disputes from The United Democratic Forum (UDF), The Kenya National Congress (KNC), NARC, KANU, The United Republican Party (URP), Ford Kenya and Wiper Democratic Movement on Wednesday, followed by The National Alliance (TNA) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Thursday.

Letangule said that the committee of five is ready to handle the disputes within the seven days provided and make radical decisions on case-by-case basis.

"We will try to do our best to adjudicate, we have the law on our side and we know what should be done and issue appropriate remedies. We will not shy away from revoking nominations that we feel were not correctly done, it does not matter if the party will have a candidate or not," he added.

He urged that all complainants to ensure that that they had exhausted all their internal party dispute resolution mechanisms.

UDF was the first party whose case would have proceeded but Kamukunji parliamentary aspirant Mohammed Issack Ali was directed to wait for the party's National Executive Committee to sort out his case on Wednesday afternoon.

He says he has not been issued with a certificate despite being unopposed and instead the party wants him to take Sh2.5 million to forfeit his ticket which will instead be given to another aspirant.

TNA's Mary Wambui of Othaya is among aspirants who have filed disputes with the committee after her rival Mugambi Gichuki after her name was found missing from the TNA list.

She is represented in the case by a team of lawyers led by Cecil Miller. There were however indications that Wambui would be placed on the final TNA list that is lodged with the IEBC.

Former Maragwa, MP Elias Mbau is another of the aspirants with complains against TNA.

A complaint against ODM that surfaced at the hearing was from Uriri Constituency by Kisia Ojowi, a candidate of the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (PICK).

Ojowi accused ODM of carrying out nominations in the constituency past the deadline of January 18 and wanted their list of candidates revoked.

Letangule said those dissatisfied with the decision of the committee had the option of seeking further recourse from the High Court.

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