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Poll cases to be wrapped up Monday

Sunday October 6 2013

ELVIS ONDIEKI
By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Judgment in all the pending election petitions at the High Court nationwide will be delivered Monday.

According to a press release on the Judiciary’s website, only six election petitions are awaiting decisions.

Of the six, five concern parliamentary elections for Embakasi East, Bomachoge Borabu, Nyaribari Chache, Matungu and Luanda.

The sixth case is the dispute over Migori women representative. Ms Fatuma Mohammed is challenging the election of Ms Dennitah Gati.

Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei had on April 22 told the Press that a total of 115 election petitions had been filed at the High Court following the March 4 General Election.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga assigned 98 judges to handle the petitions.

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October 31 is the deadline for the six-month period stipulated for the hearing and disposal of election petitions.

As the petitions were on-going before the High Court, some parties moved to the Court of Appeal seeking a review of their case outcomes.

Some nine petitions moved to the appellate court, where all of them were dismissed because, it was noted, the court had not been granted powers to determine matters pending in the High Court.

So controversial was the issue of appeals that a five-judge bench had to be formed to tell whether the Court of Appeal could hear cases pending in the High Court.

In their ruling on September 27, Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Maina Kariuki, Steven Gatembu, Kathurima M’Inoti and Agnes Murgor said the Constitution and the Elections Act do not donate powers to the appellate court to handle matters pending before an election court.

Final judgment has to be delivered first, they ruled.

Interlocutory appeals aside, at least five appeals have now been filed to challenge the outcome of election petitions.

The Judiciary statement shows that nine appeals had been filed as of October 4.

They include a case challenging the outcome of Nyeri gubernatorial election petition.

The same applies to judgments in Ganze, Lamu West, Lunga Lunga and Lamu East parliamentary election petitions.

Others are Taveta, Matungulu and Baringo South.