Presidential election results declaration case takes new twist as CORD enjoined

Presidential election results declaration case takes new twist as CORD enjoined

The Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) has been enjoined in a case in which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is challenging a High Court decision that presidential election results announced at the constituency level will be final.

This is after the parties in the case entered consent to have CORD enjoined in the appeal and the coalition of ODM and Wiper parties has been directed to file written submissions within seven days.

Judges Aggrey Muchelule, Weldon Korir and Chacha Mwita seem to agree with petitioners – UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai and activists Khelef Khalifa and Tirop Kitur, who oppose the IEBC appeal.

They argue announcing results at the 290 constituencies reduces chances of them being altered at the national tallying centre, even as IEBC argues the High Court erred in issuing the verdict.

The appeal will be heard on Monday, June 5.

On April 7, 2017, a three-judge-bench of the High Court declared that election results by Constituency Returning Officer at the constituency level is and will always remain final and IEBC cannot vary whatsoever. The results can only be challenged at the election court.

The judgement arose from a May 2016 petition by Maina Kiai, Khelef Khalifa and Tirop Kitur who were seeking interpretation of the laws and regulations of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over the management of presidential election results.

The activists had argued that during the 2013 polls, the IEBC treated presidential results announced and declared at the constituency level as provisional results.

They said a condition was that the provisional results were subject to confirmation by some commissioners and members of staff of the commission in Nairobi.

They complained that the process exposed the electoral system to abuse, and made it prone to malpractice by the IEBC and its officers.

Three Judges at the Milimani Constitutional Department Court including Justices Weldon Korir, Chacha Mwita and Aggrey Muchelule based their declarations on Article 39 of the Elective Acts of the Kenyan Constitution which only recognises the Returning Officer at the constituency level to be the person with final say and authority to declare the election results.

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