Court warns politicians against discussing presidential petition

The Supreme Court and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) have directed petitioners, politicians, political parties and interested parties to refrain from prosecuting the presidential petition outside the Supreme Court.

In a statement to newsrooms, the Supreme Court says it has fully seized the presidential petition and has barred interested parties from prosecuting the presidential petition in any other forum but the Supreme Court.

“The court is now fully seized of the petition challenging the presidential election, therefore, petitioners, respondents, agents, advisers and supporters in reference to the sub judice rule are directed to refrain from prosecuting the merits of their case(s) in any other forum other than this court,” read the statement.

In the statement, the Supreme Court notes that the responsibility of the Advocates to advise their clients in the petition about the consequences of conduct or statements that can undermine the authority of the court.

Since the filing, the presidential petition has elicited a lot of debate with most politicians making it the highlight during their public addresses and rallies.

On Wednesday, August 23, the National super Alliance (NASA) leaders Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi, during the inauguration of Mombasa Governor, Ali Hassan Joho, said that they decided to go to court to make sure that Kenyans know the ‘truth’ about what they termed as a flawed electoral process on August 8.

“We went to court in pursuit of justice, each of the Supreme Court Judges has served as a Judicial Service Commissioner, we do not want computer generated leaders and this time round we expect all the Judges to state how they will have voted and the reasoning behind it,” Mudavadi said.

Similarly on Sunday President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto during a church service at Ngong Cathedral in Kajiado County lauded the move by NASA to go to court.

“Although we have differences in opinion, it is impressive that leaders are committed to following the rule of law while addressing such issues, disputes arising from elections can always be solved through legal means,” DP Ruto said.

The Supreme Court has also directed the media and its journalists to be fair and impartial while reporting regarding the issue and adhere to the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya.

“The media including social media while exercising its freedoms under Article 34 of the Constitution ought to keep the public informed about the progress of the petition, media houses individual journalists, correspondents and commentators ought to perform their functions in a free, fair and impartial manner.”

The presidential petition was filed at the Supreme Court on Friday, August 18 by the opposition’s lawyers after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared President Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the presidential election.

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