Cord gathers evidence for presidential poll petition

The Supreme Court of Kenya on January 12 2012. Photo/BILLY MUTAI
The Supreme Court of Kenya on January 12 2012. Photo/BILLY MUTAI 

The Cord coalition Monday said it was gathering evidence to file a case challenging the presidential election results at the Supreme Court before the Monday deadline.

The coalition team led by Cabinet ministers Mutula Kilonzo and James Orengo said it will gather information from relevant organisations to help them build a strong argument against the declaration of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s fourth president by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“We have demanded information from different organisations, which are fundamental to this process,” said Mr Kilonzo.

The petition challenging a presidential vote should be filed within seven days after releasing the results. The Supreme Court has 14 days to hear and determine the case. If the election is found to be invalid, a fresh election is held within 60 days.

The Supreme Court judges are Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Smokin Wanjala, Philip Tunoi, Jackton Ojwang, Muhamed Ibrahim and Njoki Ndung’u.

Dr Mutunga, while receiving copies of the presidential results on Monday, said the Court would handle the petition fairly, justly and within the timeline.

The IEBC declared Mr Kenyatta as winner of the presidential poll with 6,173,433 votes out of 12,330,028 votes cast, equivalent to 50.07 per cent. A winner is required to get 50 per cent plus one vote to avoid a run-off.

Mr Kenyatta was expected to be sworn in on March 26.

Mr Kilonzo warned that premature celebrations would be over once they reveal evidence while Mr Orengo accused the IEBC of withholding relevant documents, making it difficult for Cord to verify election results.

“We were denied the right to access several crucial documents by the IEBC. We therefore could not verify some documents,” said Orengo.

He urged the Supreme Court to stick to the law and provide a fair judgment on the dispute.

“The Supreme Court must act in accordance with the law... the Constitution is giving a lifeline to many individuals and organisations that have been disadvantaged,” he added.

The President-elect assumes office first Tuesday after the fourteenth day after the declaration of the results if no petition is filed or the seventh day following the date on which the court decides.

Journalists from local and international media camped for the better part of the day at the Supreme Court in anticipation of the case to be filed. Outside the court, a crowd formed and watched from far.