Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Speaker free to declare Bomachoge seat vacant

The Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Joel Onyancha's application on Wednesday. Photo/FILE 

By SAM KIPLAGAT

The Speaker of the National Assembly is free to declare the Bomachoge parliamentary seat vacant.

This follows the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of an application by Mr Joel Onyancha on Wednesday. Mr Onyancha had been serving as the area MP and wanted the status quo maintained until the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has been constituted.

Lawyer Githu Muigai said that without the Electoral Commission of Kenya, which was disbanded on December 29, last year, and its successor the IIEC, Mr Onyancha would be denied his right to challenge the decision in the highest court in the land.

Speaker Kenneth Marende was served with a certificate from the High Court nullifying Mr Onyancha’s election on January 5.

Election petition

Mr Onyancha, an assistant Culture and Social Services minister, has moved to court to challenge the nullification of his election as the Bomachoge MP.

The Ford-People MP lost his seat on December 19, after Mr Justice Daniel Musinga declared his election null, citing massive irregularities.

Mr Katwa Kigen, for Mr Simon Ogari and Mr Zephaniah Nyang’wara, who successfully filed the election petition, objected to the application.

In their decision, the judges noted that it would be impracticable for a by-election to be conducted without an electoral body. “It is our considered view that no orders should be issued,” said Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch. The ECK had declared Mr Onyancha the winner with 9,076 votes against Mr Ogari’s 7,221.

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