24 January 2013

Kenya: Cases to Block Top Politicians Set for February

Nairobi — Four cases challenging the eligibility of five top politicians from this year's elections have been consolidated and will now be heard on February 7.

Among those listed in the cases are Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka.

The cases will be mentioned next Tuesday before David Majanja to confirm if the parties have exchanged their submissions.

The International Centre for Peace and Conflict (ICPC) in December became the second challenger after it raised integrity concerns over Ruto and Kenyatta who have been accused of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

ICPC in its application asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to be barred from accepting the candidature of others seeking for elective positions in the March elections.

In November last year the first case challenging their eligibility to run for presidency was dropped.

Individual voters, the Kenya Youth Parliament and the Kenya Youth League said they dropped the case because the issue of integrity could not be addressed fully if other presidential aspirants were not part of the lawsuit and promised they could file another one which they termed as "the mother of all petitions" so that it can include other presidential candidates.

The applicants were as well as some of the people who were displaced from their homes during the bloody upheaval that shook Kenya after the December 2007 presidential poll.

The chairman of the IEBC Issack Hassan had previously said that the commission would not bar Kenyatta and Ruto from being on the ballot as long as they are given the all clear by the courts.

The chaos that followed the disputed election left 1,133 people dead and 650,000 displaced from their homes.

The two are due to stand trial at the ICC in April 2013 to answer charges linked to the post poll violence in 2008. They are accused alongside media personality Joshua arap Sang and former Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura.

Kenyatta and Ruto have joined forces under the Jubilee Alliance with Kenyatta being the presidential candidate and Ruto his running mate.

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