Top Stories / National
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 17:46 EATcgitau@kenyafreepress.com
Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) scored a major victory today after the Court of Appeal Judges declared that the presidential results announced at constituency level will be final. NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga welcomed the ruling saying it blocked Jubilee's plot to rig the general elections.
The ruling which is a big blow to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as it declared that once results of are announced at the 290 constituencies, the IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati will only tally the presidential vote without making any alterations.
Appellate judges, Justices Asike Makhandia, William Ouko and Agnes Murgor overruled the modification of election results by IEBC or Mr Chebukati at the national tallying centre saying it is inappropriate and contrary to the law.
“There is no doubt from the architecture of the laws we have considered that the people of Kenya did not intend to vest or concentrate such sweeping and boundless powers in one individual,” Presiding Judge Mr William Ouko read out.
“There was near unanimity in opinion that, since the first level of declaration of results is at the polling station, those results should be final and should only be challenged in a court of law; that the form filled out for the declaration of results at the polling station should be the primary election form and all other forms can only be tallies of the final results rather than confirmation forms.”
The Judges said the only verification the IEBC chairman can do is to relate to the accountability of the ballot papers- the number of ballot papers issued, those used, those spoilt and unused ballot papers.
The judge also made it clear that it was hypocritical for the IEBC to doubt the honesty of its own staff saying that the polling station is the true locus of the expression of people’s will and therefore should not be exposed to risk variation.
The ruling by the Appellate Judges upheld an earlier one by the High Court that presidential poll results announced in the 290 constituencies are final and should not be subjected to any alterations.
But the electoral agency moved to the appellate court to appeal against the verdict of Justices Aggrey Muchelule, Weldon Korir and Enoch Chacha Mwita.
The three judges had upheld arguments by United Nations Special rapporteur Mr Maina Kiai, Mrs Khelef Khalifa and Mr Tirop Kitur, who had sought a declaration that the presidential election results as declared by the constituency returning officers should be considered as final.
They also ruled that the High Court had the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter and that it was rightly filed before the lower court and that Justices Aggrey Muchelule, Weldon Korir and Enoch Chacha Mwita did not exceed their mandate in handling that case.
Raila welcomed the Court of Appeal ruling by the judges saying it blocked Jubilee's plot to rig the general election. He said President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party was opposed to the ruling as it plans to engage in malpractices. "Now that the court has agreed with us, the reign of Jubilee has been brought to a halt. They are headed home," he said.
The ODM leader spoke when he addressed campaign rallies in Cheptais, Sirisia and Bumula in Bungoma County. He chided NASA supporters advising them to abstain from sex on the eve of elections. "When you are going for war, sex is a bad omen," he said.
The Opposition chief said their coalition will now embark on tallying and announcing their own results. "We will keep vigil at all polling stations, tally our own results, announce what we have and compare it with what the IEBC will have."
The ODM leader said the August 8 vote will be one of protest by Kenyans who have been facing tough economic times. Raila termed the Jubilee administration a corrupt regime that is insensitive to the plight of Kenyans. "This is a government of thieves. They have looted in every ministry. It is high time we sent them home," he said.
Wetang'ula castigated Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka and Water CS Eugene Wamalwa for supporting Jubilee, saying they were being guided by selfish interests.