Politics and policy

Four running for president’s post illegally, court told

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From left: Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth. A petition has been filed at the Supreme Court challenging the nomination of the four contenders for the presidency while they are still serving as State officers. Photos/FILE

From left: Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth. A petition has been filed at the Supreme Court challenging the nomination of the four contenders for the presidency while they are still serving as State officers. Photos/FILE  Nation Media Group

By EDWIN MUTAI

Posted  Wednesday, February 6  2013 at  21:41

In Summary

  • Isaac Alouchier wants the nomination of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth declared unconstitutional.
  • The petition is on the grounds that the politicians are serving in government contrary to provisions of Articles 77(2) and 137(2)(b) of the Constitution, which require those running for political offices to resign from their public service positions.
  • The petition filed on Tuesday is seeking the cancellation of the March 4 General Election and the holding of another poll 60 days thereafter.
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A petition has been filed at the Supreme Court challenging the nomination of four contenders for the presidency while they are still serving as State officers.

Isaac Alouchier wants the nomination of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth declared unconstitutional.

“No person was nominated as a candidate under the provision of the Constitution. The presidential election should therefore be cancelled and rescheduled,” Mr Alouchier said.

The petition is on the grounds that the politicians are serving in government contrary to provisions of Articles 77(2) and 137(2)(b) of the Constitution, which require those running for political offices to resign from their public service positions.

The petition filed on Tuesday is seeking the cancellation of the March 4 General Election and the holding of another poll 60 days thereafter.

Others who have been named as respondents are Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, and Eldoret North MP William Ruto who are Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta’s running mates respectively.

Also named in the suit papers are Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Isaack Hassan and the political parties that nominated the candidates.

Article 77(2) bars state officers from holding office in political parties while Article 137(2) disqualifies foreigners, public officers, including those acting, from being nominated to vie for the presidency.

Constitution silent

This requirement, however, does not apply to the President, the Deputy President, or a Member of Parliament.

The Constitution is silent on whether the office of the Prime Minister and his deputies are State offices. The offices were created under the National Accord and Reconciliation Act and will cease to exist after the March General Election.

Mr Alouchier further asked the court to order IEBC to disqualify political parties that nominated for office persons who do not meet requirements of the Constitution and the Elections Act 2011.

He also wants the court to order IEBC to pay exemplary damages, including additional expenditures of carrying out a legally compliant nomination and election process which he estimates at Sh1.8 billion.

He also wants IEBC to pay Sh2 million for each presidential candidate it cleared and registered, the politicians would each be charged another Sh1 million for accepting the nomination in contravention of the law.

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