All eyes on High Court as judge gives ruling on Ekuru Aukot case

Wednesday October 11 2017

Ekuru Aukot

Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot addresses a press briefing in Nairobi on July 5, 2017. He wants to take part in the October 26 repeat poll. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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All eyes will be at the High Court today as a judge rules whether Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Dr Ekuru Aukot will be included repeat poll.

Many will be keen on Justice John Mativo’s decision, especially after National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka withdrew from the October 26, repeat poll.

Dr Aukot moved to court after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gazetted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga and their running mates, as the only persons eligible for the repeat poll.

REPEAT POLL

IEBC gazetted the two candidates based on the 2013 election petition judgement, which said that the repeat poll will be between the petitioner and the president-elect. Any other candidate can however participate in the repeat poll, if the petition is filed by any Kenyan who was not in the race.

Before the High Court, Dr Aukot will be seeking an interpretation of the meaning “fresh elections” as ordered by the court under article 140(3). He had first moved to the Supreme Court by Chief Justice David Maraga directed him to file the case before the High Court. 

According to Dr Aukot, the Supreme Court having invalidated the August 8 presidential vote, anyone who contested the August 8 poll, is eligible to vie in the repeat poll. “The simple meaning of the Supreme Court decision is that there was no election and anyone who participated on August 8 presidential election has a right to vie,” he said.

Through his lawyer Mr Elias Mutuma, Dr Aukot argued before Justice Mativo that the electoral body can only limit the number of candidates in a presidential election, where no candidates garners 50 plus one votes, and in that case, fresh polls is held within 30 days in a run-off.

President Kenyatta opposed the inclusion of Dr Aukot while Mr Odinga supported the Thirdway Alliance leader.

In his submission Dr Aukot said he has a direct, legitimate and inalienable constitutional right to participate in the fresh presidential election, having been a contender in the last polls and that the gazette notice, which was published by IEBC announcing the fresh election date and the candidates, was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“I believe that my political right and that of my constituents as enshrined in the Constitution are threatened, violated and infringed [on] by the decision of IEBC and Chebukati to exclude me in the fresh election without lawful justification” Dr Aukot added.