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July 17, 2018

Accounts, financial disclosure and campaign teams law suspended

ODM party leader Raila Odinga waves to ODM supporters at a past function. Photo/File
ODM party leader Raila Odinga waves to ODM supporters at a past function. Photo/File

The court yesterday suspended implementation of the Elections Law requiring candidates to open transparent bank accounts, disclose finances and name campagin teams by last December.  

High Court judge Roselyne Aburili issued temporary orders, following a successful application by Raila Odinga’s ODM party. 

Justice Aburili’s order means politicians who did not beat the December 8 deadline set by law, will not be disqualified from running for election. In a short ruling, the judge said the law if not suspended, will render the case by ODM an academic exercise.

She said candidates have not even been nominated and thus it will be impossible to comply with the deadline of December 8.

The judge also said the law can be challenged in court because even its regulations have not been approved by Parliament.

The  Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on December 7 last year  issued a notice to enforce provisions of Section 6 of the Elections Act.

It requires candidates to appoint authorised persons to oversee campaigns and channel all campaign funds into bank accounts that can be scrutinised.

Also published by the electoral agency are guidelines to enforce the provisions of Section 6.

ODM now wants the court to reverse the order published by the IEBC.

The party says the electoral agency does not have legal authority to publish the guidelines.

It says IEBC seeks to substitute the draft election financing regulation, pending before parliamentary committee on delegate legislation.

Through lawyer Anthony Oluoch, ODM said if the court does not intervene, many of its members who might qualify for nomination will be locked out.

ODM had said the IEBC is acting inn a vacuum since Parliament has not enacted the laws to enforce the provisions of Section 6 of the Election Campaign Finance Act, 2013.

According to ODM, the December 8 deadline for aspirants to disclose their campaign finances is vague.

It said public servants seeking to run in the general electios are yet to resign.

Justice Aburili said the matter is extremely urgent given the fixed timelines for the August 8, 2017, general elections.

The judge set the hearing for next Thursday.

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