Ligale ruling stokes row over new laws
Posted Friday, November 26 2010 at 21:00
- Meeting between President and Prime Minister fails to take place as MPs bicker
The stalemate over new constituencies that has paralysed Kenya’s efforts to effect the new Constitution is set to intensify after a court ruled on Friday that they were not created in line with the set out law.
Consequently, the court said that the orders barring the gazettement of the 80 constituencies, issued by Justice Jeanne Gacheche, will remain in force.
The ruling by Justice Daniel Musinga came on a day of a hardening of positions between the two sides of the coalition government.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga is said to have skipped a Cabinet committee meeting that was supposed to be attended by President Kibaki at Harambee House.
MPs supporting the list on Friday said the Judiciary’s intervention to block the list was unconstitutional.
But their opponents, mainly from PNU, said Ligale was unfair in the distribution of the new units.
On Thursday, Parliament rejected a list of nominees presented by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to serve on the implementation and revenue allocation commissions.
Block the names
Although MPs said the list lacked regional balance, a group of 169 had earlier vowed to block the names unless the constituencies are gazetted.
It had been hoped that Justice Musinga could rule in favour of the Ligale team to help unblock the stalemate.
But the judge instead found that Mr Ligale’s Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission did not fully comply with the law in coming up with the constituencies.
According to the judge the commission ought to have clearly determined the physical boundaries of the new constituencies.
“Without clear borders it is impossible to know the basic information like the number of voters in the constituency,” said the judge.
The IIBRC was however favoured by the ruling when the judge declared that the three commissioners were in office legally and should remain in office until the expiry of the team’s mandate.
The three Mr Ligale, Ms Rozah Buyu and Ms Irene Masit were accused of occupying the offices illegally because they were involved in politics in the recent past.
The commission’s tenure is expected to end today and it had through chairman Ligale moved to court to lift orders issued against it.
In the orders issued by Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche the commission was barred from gazetting the additional constituencies from the existing 210 electoral units.
The orders were issued after a businessman moved to court to block the publishing of the new boundaries.