14 November 2017

Kenya: Security Beefed Around Supreme Court Ahead of Pre-Trial Conference

Nairobi — Security has been beefed up in the Central Business District (CBD) ahead of the Supreme Court pre-trial conference for the three presidential petitions lodged last week to challenge the validity of the presidential election held on October 26.

The Supreme Court is expected to meet briefly to plan how to hold the petitions for the next few days, hence the security.

The conference is aimed at determining if all the parties have been served with the necessary filings, hear preliminary objections and possibly consolidate the suits and set the hearing dates.

It is also at the pre-trial conference that the court will decide who among the applicants will be enjoined either as an interested party or a friend of the court.

The court has this week to hear and determine the petitions with the constitutional deadline lapsing at midnight next Monday.

The three suits the court will address itself to are those filed by Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, Harun Mwau and that for the Institute for Democratic Governance.

Mue, Khalifa and Mwau want the outcome of the October 26 fresh presidential poll invalidated while the Institute for Democratic Governance wants Opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka held in contempt and found guilty of electoral malpractices for actively seeking to derail the poll.

According the Supreme Court rules, the bench is immediately thereafter expected to hear the petitions day-to-day until it retires to consider and then render its decision(s) on the matters placed before it.

The three suits were filed last Monday with Mue, Khalifa and Mwau who have filed two separate suits calling into question the legitimacy of the October 26 poll from which Odinga withdrew on account of what he described as a lack of good faith on the part of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

And in pursuit of an invalidation of the election, Mue and Khalifa, have made reference to the IEBC's own Chairman Wafula Chebukati's questioning of the poll's credibility just days prior and a leaked memo whose concerns on the conduct of the invalidated August 8 presidential poll, they submit, was not satisfactorily addressed as to engender public trust in the process.


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