IEBC tribunal in marathon to clear 262 appeals

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Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission disputes tribunal was on Monday racing with time to hear cases lodged by various candidates in a tight schedule as it readies for the polls.

The commission which has five days left will now be praying hard that no other petitions will be filed challenging the process after the June 18 deadline.

It is planning to start preparing the ballot papers next week.

Apart from the number of voters, the number of candidates for a particular seat is also a factor that informs the commission’s decision on the printing of ballot papers.

There are a total of 262 complaints filed by various candidates across the country fighting to be on the ballot on August 9.

At the Milimani law Courts, on its third day, there was a flurry of activities.

Litigants continued to troop to the three courtrooms specifically set for the purpose with IEBC commissioners sitting on the three panels.

While all returning officers from the affected regions were present in court, some candidates skipped as others were represented by their lawyers.

Commission’s vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera and Boya Molu sat on panel two presided over by George Murugu while Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya heard cases in panel one which is under Wambua Kilonzo.

Advocate Titus Tiego presided over panel three which had Abdi Guliye and Francis Wanderi with each of the panels being allocated 15 cases to hear.

Chairperson Wafula Chebukati who launched the process on Saturday is exempted from participating in the hearings.

“Under Article 88 (4) (e) of the Constitution, IEBC is responsible for the settlement of electoral disputes, including disputes relating to or arising from nominations but excluding election petitions and disputes subsequent to the declaration of election results,” he said.

In a move clearly calculated to ensure they beat the deadline, petitioners and respondents were granted less than five minutes to present their submissions apart from their written submissions.

Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi who had earlier expressed interest in running for the senate seat did not appear with the returning officer saying he had withdrawn his petition.

The court, however, asked the officer to submit a written statement to be deposited on Tuesday.

Kiambu UDA Senate nominee Karungo Thangwa will have his fate known on Saturday.

He was blocked on the basis of his impeachment while serving as Kiambu CEC.

The case against Johnson Sakaja who is also running for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat on the UDA ticket will be determined Wednesday.

A litany of cases from various petitioners has been filed seeking to block him from the race.

It was not exactly clear as to how many cases had been heard and concluded with officials privy putting it at less than 20 by Monday evening.

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