Kenya: Court Suspends Implementation of Amended 2017 Electoral Laws

Photo: Capital FM
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officials (file photo).
13 December 2017

Nairobi — The controversial Amended Election Act of 2017 has been suspended until a case contesting their constitutional validity is determined.

High Court judge Chacha Mwita on Wednesday stopped implementation of the laws which came into force on November 2 until March 16, next year, when the court will issue its verdict.

The judge issued the temporary orders upon conclusion of Katiba Institute's case which is contesting implementation of the laws which were passed without the input of the opposition member's in Parliament and the Senate.

Justice Mwita has issued the order saying "to avoid confusion on the laws which are in force, I exercise my discretion to suspend the amended election laws until the court pronounces itself on the matter before it".

At the same time , Judge Mwita allowed lawyers representing the Attorney General , National Assembly and the Senate to file supplementary affidavits on Supreme Court's opinion over the disputed laws.

While giving the reasons for upholding President Uhuru Kenyatta's reelection on October 26, five judges of the apex court declined to give their views on the amended laws but justice Njoki Ndung'u held they are Constitutional.

The respondents have opposed the suit insisting it is not only unfounded but also overtaken by events.

Justice Mwita was asked to find that the issues complained of by the lobby group are not justifiable.

Through lawyer Waikwa Wanyoike , the NGO wants the court to among other things determine whether it is constitutional for Parliament to pass amendments to a law purposely to defeat the findings of a court.

It is also seeking a declaration whether the Parliament can pass laws engineered to specifically regulate events that the majority party is happy with or in opposition to.

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