The electoral commisison has asked courts to consider retaining winners in the on-going General Election petitions to save the cost of conducting by-elections.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Issack Hassan Friday said they were cash-strapped and he expressed fears that the more than 90 petitions could drain their resources.
“We are challenging courts to declare the clear winners after recount. In doing this, we will not have to spend millions of shillings in planning by-elections,” Mr Hassan said while issuing writs for the by-elections in Siaya County, Matungulu and Kibwezi constituencies.
The commission will conduct by-elections in those areas on October 17. On the same date county assembly wards will also conduct theirs. They include Ilima in Kaiti constituency, Benane (Lagdera) and Mnagei in Kapenguria.
The rest of the election petitions are yet to be decided. All cases must have been concluded by October 13.
Mr Hassan said the huge number of petitions was not an indictment on how his agency conducted the elections.
“The cases are only 10 per cent of the total seats contested,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s an indictment on how we conducted the elections.”
he said, adding that most of the petitions will be thrown out of the courts.
During the meeting he handed the writs to returning officers in the seven electoral zones who shall oversee the elections on October 17.
“I want you to know that you are responsible for the outcome thereof. Conduct the elections diligently, professionally and above all, observe the law,” he said.
In Siaya, former Governor Cornel Rasanga lost his seat after the High Court in Kisumu nullified his win citing massive electoral malpractices.
This followed a petition filed by William Oduol who lost in the March 4 elections.
The petition was one of the 24 filed against the elections of governors countrywide.
Machakos High court on August 15 revoked the election of Patrick Musimba as the Kibwezi West MP following a successful petition by former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile.
A recount found that Mr Ndile had won by 29 votes.
“I hereby declare that Dr Patrick Musimba was not validly elected as a Member of the National Assembly for Kibwezi West Constituency,” said Justice David Majanja in his ruling.
Matungulu MP Stephen Mutinda Mule also lost his parliamentary seat after the Machakos High Court judge Lilian Mutende said there were massive irregularities in the poll.
The petition was filed by poll losers Thomas Malinda Musau, Stephen Ndambuki Muli, John Makenzi and a former MP Moffat Maithya.
IEBC has given political parties up to September 2 to finalise their primaries and determine intra-party disputes arising from the nomination of their candidates.
The nominees will then be required to present their nomination papers to the respective Returning Officers by September 21 latest.
The official campaign period will run from September 21 to October 15, 2013.
BY NATION REPORTER