Wednesday, March 27, 2013

TNA accuses polls team of tampering with Senate list

PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU Ms Lydia Mathia and her lawyer, Mr Kibe Mungai, leave the High Court on March 26, 2013. TNA has sued the IEBC for leaving her out of its final list of nominees to the Senate.

PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU Ms Lydia Mathia and her lawyer, Mr Kibe Mungai, leave the High Court on March 26, 2013. TNA has sued the IEBC for leaving her out of its final list of nominees to the Senate.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PAUL JUMA pjuma@ke.nationmedia.com

The electoral commission has been accused of tinkering with The National Alliance’s list of nominated women senators.

The party says Ms Lydia Mathia’s name, which it had submitted, was missing from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) list.

As a result, TNA has filed a petition at the High Court accusing the IEBC of discriminating against Ms Mathia because she is Kikuyu.

The party has applied for an interim order suspending the gazette notice of March 20 in which the final list was published.

In an affidavit supporting the application, TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja said the commission acted beyond its powers by altering the party’s list.

Mr Sakaja said the party submitted a list of women to be nominated to the Senate on March 16 which met the legal requirements for regional, ethnic and gender balance and the need for a representative balance in the Jubilee Coalition.

The top five names on the list were Beth Mugo (Nairobi), Saadia Abdi Kantoma (North Eastern), Lydia Mathia (Mt Kenya), Linah Jebii Kilimo (Rift Valley) and Naisula Lesuuda (Rift Valley).

Due to its strength in the Senate, the party was entitled to four positions for nominated women representatives, said Mr Sakaja.

He said the first four people on the TNA list were expected to automatically be on the IEBC list but Ms Mathia’s name was not there yet she was number three.

The final IEBC list had Beth Wambui Mugo, Emma Mbura Gertrude, Naisula Lesuuda and Joy Adhiambo Gwendo.

By altering TNA’s list, the IEBC has skewed representation of Jubilee parties in the Senate, leaving Rift Valley and Coast with two representatives each while Mount Kenya has none, according to TNA.

“This list is not only unacceptable bearing in mind the votes that Jubilee garnered in the Mt Kenya region,” Mr Sakaja said in the affidavit.

The High Court will make a ruling on Wednesday morning.

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