Kenya: Mariga Moves to IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee Over Invalidation of Candidacy for Kibra

11 September 2019

Nairobi — Jubilee Party's flag-bearer for Kibra parliamentary by-election, MacDonald Mariga, Wednesday filed a complaint at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's Dispute Resolution Committee challenging the decision to invalidate his candidature.

Mariga argued the decision made on Tuesday by the Kibra Returning Officer, Beatrice Muli, was improper, null and void because he is a registered voter.

The renowned international footballer pointed out that he became a registered voter on August 26.

He now wants the IEBC to affirm his nomination and issue him with a certificate to vie for the election scheduled for November 7.

"The complaint herein challenges the decision by Returning Officer Beatrice Muli at Kibra constituency at 6:40pm September 10, 2019 invalidating the complainant as a candidate for Jubilee Party," read a part of the petition.

"Therefore, the complainant pray that it is determined that the decision by the said returning officer was void and has no legal effect."

The IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee will give its verdict within 7 days.

Mariga's candidature was invalidated Tuesday on the grounds that his voter details were not found in the IEBC voter register.

Despite the uncertainty hovering around his candidature, a section of the elected Jubilee Party leaders have said they will continue with campaigns.

Langata Member of Parliament Nixon Korir who accompanied Mariga to IEBC headquarters where they launched the petition stated that as the party waits for a determination by the IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee on their appeal, it is all systems go for Jubilee, as they move to market Mariga in a race that has attracted 23 candidates.

"As we said earlier, Mariga is a registered voter and the IEBC is supposed to transfer his details from KIEMS kit to the official register they were using. We do not know how long they will take, that is their business, but what we are sure of is that we have a candidate for Kibra by-election," Korir said.

Candidates vying for the seat include former Kibra MP the late Ken Okoth's brother Imran Okoth, who will be flying Orange Democratic Movement party flag and Amani National Congress candidate Eliud Owalo among others.

The Raila Odinga-led party handed Mariga the ticket on Tuesday following his win in party primaries held on Saturday.

IEBC Tuesday cleared twenty-three candidates to participate in the by-election.

The electoral body tweeted indicating that the seat had attracted 30 aspirants but 7 have either been disqualified or did not show up for clearance.

Out of those who have been cleared, 16 candidates are sponsored by political parties while 7 are running as independent candidates.

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