Focus turns to court as Cord challenges Uhuru’s election

Monday March 11 2013

PHOTO | FILE Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga when he rejected the results of the presidential elections on March 9, 2013. His team is expected to file a petition on March 11, 2013.
PHOTO | FILE Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga when he rejected the results of the presidential elections on March 9, 2013. His team is expected to file a petition on March 11, 2013.
Cord appoints lawyers to contest Uhuru's election
By ISAAC ONGIRI [email protected] AND ABIUD OCHIENG’ [email protected]

Focus shifts to the Supreme Court on Monday where the battle over last week’s presidential election will be fought after the Cord candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, said he would challenge the results. (Read: The intrigues surrounding Jubilee victory)

Mr Odinga was on Sunday evening assembling a team of lawyers to build a case against the election of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s fourth President as declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Saturday.

The advisory team comprising senators-elect Amos Wako, Moses Wetang’ula, James Orengo, Mutula Kilonzo and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba was on Sunday working with other lawyers to prepare the legal battle in a case expected to file with the Supreme Court later on Monday. (Read: Raila to challenge Uhuru's victory in court)

The case by Mr Odinga is likely to be heard before the Supreme Court which is composed of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Judges Smokin Wanjala, Philip Tunoi, Jackton Boma Ojwang’, Mohamed Ibrahim and Njoki Ndung’u.

Cord’s national campaign coordination committee co-chairman Franklin Bett on Sunday said that the team had been appointed in readiness for the petition.

“We cannot give specific details of the issues we will be raising but they will be available in court,” said Mr Bett.

The suit is expected to rely on Cord’s assertion that the equipment that IEBC had deployed for the election — ranging from poll books, computer servers, electronic transmission of results and electronic voter identification — had not worked as planned.

In the final tally on Saturday, the IEBC declared Mr Kenyatta as winner of the presidential election with 6,173,433 votes out of 12,330,028 votes cast. Mr Kenyatta’s figures surpassed the 50 per cent mark plus one vote mark required to avoid a run-off.

“Let the Supreme Court determine whether the results announced by the IEBC are lawful. We are confident that the court will restore the faith of Kenyans in the democratic rule of law,” Mr Odinga had said when he rejected the outcome of the results on Saturday. (Read: PM’s unfulfilled ambition to become president)

Mr Odinga, addressing the public after the results were announced, said voter registration numbers were reduced in Cord strongholds and added to Jubilee strongholds. He further said that some constituencies saw the number of registered voters inflated.

Mr Odinga’s running mate, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, had on Thursday last week claimed that vote tallying at Bomas of Kenya was compromised and demanded that it be stopped.

On Sunday the IEBC published a Gazette notice certifying the election of Mr Kenyatta as President and Mr William Ruto as Deputy President.

“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) certifies that the candidate who has been duly elected the President of the Republic of Kenya under the provision of Article 138(4) and (10) of the Constitution in the presidential election held on 4th March 2013 is Mr Uhuru Kenyatta,” read the notice. “The IEBC subsequently declares Mr William Samoei Ruto elected as the Deputy President under the provision of Article 148(3) of the Constitution.”

The National Alliance (TNA) party said it is prepared to contest a petition challenging the election of Mr Kenyatta as President. TNA secretary-general Onyango Oloo said the party will engage lawyers to respond once they have been served with court papers.

According to the constitution, a petition challenging the election of a president should be filed within seven days after the declaration of results.

The Supreme Court will then have to settle the petition within 14 days and its decision will be final. Should the court declare the election invalid, a fresh election shall be held within sixty days.