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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Many cases will be filed if Wavinya contests – MCA

Machakos Wiper governor candidate Wavinya Ndeti follows proceedings at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, on Friday / COLLINS KWEYU
Machakos Wiper governor candidate Wavinya Ndeti follows proceedings at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, on Friday / COLLINS KWEYU

Allowing Wiper candidate Wavinya Ndeti to contest in the August 8 polls will set a bad precedent, MCA Peter Kyulu has told a court.

Making submissions to the High Court, Kyalo said a ruling in her favour “will impact greatly on the outcome of the general election”, and may open a floodgate of other court cases.

Kyalo filed a petition before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission disputes committee before the matter found its way to the High Court.

Wavinya won in the Wiper nominations to run for Machakos governor, but the IEBC said she is not eligible to be nominated by any party to contest the seat in August.

Justice George Odunga will on Wednesday rule on whether she will be allowed to run on the Wiper ticket.

The IEBC says it blocked Wavinya from participating in the polls because she was a member of two parties, Wiper and Chama Cha Uzalendo, where she was the party leader.

Wavinya is, however, challenging the ruling by the IEBC tribunal.

On June 9, Wavinya got a temporary reprieve after the High Court directed the IEBC to publish her name in the Gazette notice.

no exception

But in Kyalo’s submissions, he argues that about 16,000 contestants have joined the fray to be elected in various capacities after complying with the Constitution, the Elections Act 2011 and other relevant laws.

He has told the court the application by Wavinya makes her “an exception”.

This, if allowed, will see other aspirants, who were blocked for not complying with the Constitution and other electoral laws, dash to court seeking clearance.

“The likely consequence if the court were to agree with her would be to reopen the race for all those that were validly rejected on similar grounds, who would probably run into hundreds and eventually affect the entire election timelines and calendar,” reads part of the submissions.

He has also argued that the court must “uphold principles of democracy, affirm the importance of party discipline and ethics in the electoral system, particularly the rationale behind setting of electoral timelines and the need for political parties to adhere to their rules.”

Kyalo says the court should “decide the matter in a way that maintains the purity of elections”.

On Friday, the IEBC through lawyer Paul Nyamodi, argued that Wavinya did not resign from the Chama Cha Uzalendo Party as required by the law before moving to Wiper.

Nyamodi further told the court that as of the date of the purported resignation, which was April 6, Wavinya was still a member of CCU, and she only made a futile attempt to leave by use of a coalition agreement.

The commission has claimed she violated section 14 ( 4 ) of the Political Parties Act, 2011.

Wavinya, through lawyers Willis Otieno and Nzamba Kitonga, has however argued the IEBC had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter filed before the electoral commission committee.

Wavinya further said the jurisdiction to determine the question of party membership is conferred on the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal and not the commission.

She urged the judge to quash the decision by the electoral commission that barred her from contesting.

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