The Star (Nairobi)

14 February 2013

Kenya: Lawyer Wants International Observers Kicked Out

A Nairobi lawyer has moved to court seeking the revocation of election observers from the UK, USA and the European Union for showing open bias against Jubilee coalition.

In a suit certified urgent by Justice Eric Ogola yesterday, Harrison Kinyanjui says that the EU, USA and UK have openly displayed partisanship against the internationally accepted practices, which binds them as election observers.

He said the bias is against Regulation 94(2) of 2012 which calls for non-interference with the electoral process and fundamentally, being non-partisan.

"These countries and ostensibly their election observer missions have openly displayed hostility towards the democratic election of Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and William Ruto as Kenya's President and Vice president respectively on March 4th 2013 elections, stating that should the two be so elected, there are "consequences" and some of them will maintain "minimum contact' in a veiled threat not to so elect the 2," reads part of the application.

He says it is imperative that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission be compelled to revoke the accreditation of observers from the three missions.

Justice Ogolla directed Kinyanjui to serve the electoral body and the Attorney General with the court papers ahead of the hearing on February 18.

In the same petition, the lawyer wants the IEBC stopped from issuing short and long-term accreditation - for purposes of the March 4 General Election- to those who did not meet the deadline of January 30.

He will also be seeking orders barring poll observers from conducting exit poll saying it was in breach of section 60 of the Elections Act. He said only IEBC that is mandated to announce the outcome of the polls.

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