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Economy

Maraga asked to create poll dispute guidelines

Chief Justice David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Carter Centre, one of Kenya’s 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections observers, has asked the Supreme Court to come up with guidelines for determining electoral disputes.

The centre that monitored voter registration, campaigns, polling preparations, and dispute resolutions, said such guidelines would enable Kenya’s courts to make consistent rulings on future election petitions.

“Lower courts faced significant challenges in assessing consistently whether alleged electoral violations were substantial enough to warrant annulment of election results,” the Centre says in its report on the 299 petitions filed following the last election.

The report found that lower courts reached different conclusions when applying the legal precedent. “In the cases scrutinised, there was no agreement among the lower courts on what constitutes a substantial versus a non-substantial violation of the principles in the constitution and the law.”

The Supreme Court itself is on the spot for its ruling that reinstated Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud even after it determined that he had no university degree, a basic requirement for the job and a ground on which both the High Court and Court of Appeal annulled his election.

The report also reviews the High Court’s April 2018 decision that struck most of the provisions of the 2017 Elections Act amendments. The law was passed after the Supreme Court annulled the August 2017 presidential poll.

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