REPRIEVE

Win for Independents as court quashes demand on supporters ID

The law required independents to provide copies of supporters' ID cards before registration.

In Summary

• Justice Anthony Mrima termed the requirement as unconstitutional and one that contravenes the Data Protection Act. 

• The ruling was on four consolidated petitions filed by 17 independent candidates and Free Kenya Initiative in April.  

The ruling is a big win for Independent candidates who had been locked out of the August race for failing to submit copies of ID cards of their supporters.
The ruling is a big win for Independent candidates who had been locked out of the August race for failing to submit copies of ID cards of their supporters.
Image: FILE

The High court has quashed a requirement for Independent candidates to submit copies of their supporters' identity cards to IEBC when seeking registration to vie for various seats. 

Justice Anthony Mrima termed the requirement as unconstitutional and one that contravenes the Data Protection Act. 

"A declaration hereby issues that Regulation 18(2)(c),24(2)(c), 28(2)(c) and 36(2)(c) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012 (as amended in 2017) are in contravention of Article 31 of the Constitution and the Data Protection Act," the judge ruled. 

The ruling will, however, have little effect on the Independent candidates who were locked out of the August race as it is time barred.

IEBC required Independent candidates to submit their papers to the commission by Monday, May 2 ahead of their clearance.

The ruling was on four consolidated petitions filed by 17 independent candidates and Free Kenya Initiative in April.  

They sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), office of the Registrar of Political Parties, National Assembly, Senate and the Attorney General. 

 The candidates who include Bob Njagi, Nicholas Oyoo, Nulalia Okumu, Felix Wambua,  James, Bernard Obunga, Nicholas Gitonga argued that IEBC and the Registrar of Political Parties placed discriminatory unconstitutional constraints on Independent candidates vying for political seats.

Through their Lawyer Danstan Omari, they claimed the commission has placed a heavier burden on independent candidates to get the signatures of their supporters together with their identification documents.

Regulation 24 (2) (c), 28 (2) (c), and 36 (2) (c) of the Elections General Regulations require Independent Candidates to submit forms set out in the schedule of the regulations together with identity cards of their supporters.


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