Lobbies demand October poll
Posted Tuesday, June 26 2012 at 23:30
- They claim High Court wrongly gave powers to IEBC and Executive to decide voting date and this could lead to chaos
Civil society organisations that had appealed against the elections date ruling in January now want voting held in October this year.
In their submissions to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, the groups under the banner of G10 argued that the current term for Parliament should end by the second Tuesday of August and elections held two months later.
Their lawyer Stephen Mwenesi argued that the High Court “misdirected” itself by returning uncertainties over the date of elections when the Constitution had been clear on it.
Mr Mwenesi said having the date outside the fifth year of the current Parliament (2012) would leave the President in office illegally.
“The election date should be on the second Tuesday of October 2012. It may not be popular by them but it is popular by the people,” he told the court.
The civil society organisations appealed against the High Court ruling in January in which it decided that the next elections be held either after the end of the current coalition government or within two months after the end of the current Parliament in January next year.
The group which filed its application in January argued that the High Court ruling was erroneous as it gave President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the IEBC power to call the next elections, which is against the spirit of the Constitution.
“The High Court tried to create another secret weapon on elections, by removing the certainties the Constitution gave Kenyans on elections.”
On Tuesday, Mr Harun Mwau, the first appellant in the case stated that the High Court was wrong to peg its decision on the dissolution of the coalition government.
According to his lawyer Manasses Mwangi, the National Accord that created the coalition government ceased after the new Constitution was promulgated in August 2010.
“Dissolution (of the coalition) should not result in the General Election. This is because the formulae for that is one under section 9(2) of the sixth Schedule,” he told the court.
According to the Constitution, the date for elections is the second Tuesday of August of the fifth year of Parliament, although Schedule 6 suspended that application for the first General Election under the new laws.
But the group reasoned that while the schedule suspended this proviso, the court shouldn’t have overlooked it completely because there has been a tradition set before in which Kenyans vote on the fifth year.
Mr Mwenesi said Parliament could stick to the tradition of holding elections every December, but as long as it does not go beyond 2012.
After the January ruling, the Independent Electoral; Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which is one of the respondents has since announced the date of elections as March 4, 2013. Hearing continues on Wednesday.