The ruling by the Supreme Court that election petitions must be determined within six months is a milestone in the efforts to enhance democratic governance.
The longer it takes to reaffirm victory in an election or kick out those not properly elected, the longer the people are denied an opportunity to enjoy a legitimate leadership.
As the old adage goes, justice delayed is justice denied. This is why it would make even more sense to determine such poll disputes within a much shorter time.
The time limit set by the Supreme Court must have been arrived at by the learned judges after looking thoroughly at the various facets to ensure that justice is done to the petitioners and those whose elections are being challenged.
The six months should be sufficient time to assemble the evidence, organise and present it to the election court.
Of course, when the case is going on, it’s not possible for those who will have been sworn into those positions to settle down and deliver on their mandates.
Also, this is reasonable time for the losers to have given it their best shot and after failing to unseat their opponents, should move on with their lives.
After all, they will have a chance to have another go at it, as the country holds elections every five years.
There have been ridiculous instances in the past, in which elections were nullified after petitions lasted the entire tenure, meaning that the voters were denied the leaders they elected.
It was gross injustice to have such frauds reap benefits of leadership, including salaries and allowances that they did not deserve.
Speedy determination of election petitions is crucial in reaffirming the people’s rightful choice to enhance leadership and democracy at the various levels.