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Kenya high court says minor candidate can contest presidential re-run

12 October 2017

The National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, abandoned the race on the basis of the Supreme Court regulations which mandates the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to carry out fresh nomination if any presidential candidate withdraws from the presidential race midway.

A decision by the High Court to allow Third Way Alliance candidate Ekuru Aukot to participate in the fresh election set for October 26 may work against Raila Odinga.

IEBC gazetted the two candidates based on the 2013 election petition judgement, which said that the repeat poll will be between the petitioner and the president-elect.

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This is because the High Court judge rendered unfeasible an earlier decision by the Supreme Court which the NASA presidential candidate had relied on to withdraw from the fresh election.

"I find nothing to bar the petitioner from contesting the fresh election", said Justice John Mativo.

Dr Aukot moved to court after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gazetted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga and their running mates, as the only persons eligible for the repeat poll.

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The Commission can not compel a candidate to participate in an election.

"The CJ had in fact certified our application as urgent and ordered us to appear in court today but in a change of mind he summoned us at his chambers and told us to go to the High Court to seek the interpretation of Articles 138 (5) and 140 (3)", Aukot's lawyer Elias Mutuma explained at the time. He had first moved to the Supreme Court by Chief Justice David Maraga directed him to file the case before the High Court.

The Supreme Court last month rejected the August election in which Mr Kenyatta was declared the victor after Mr Odinga challenged the results, saying hackers infiltrated the electoral commission's computer system to manipulate the vote in Mr Kenyatta's favour. "The simple meaning of the Supreme Court decision is that there was no election and anyone who participated on August 8 presidential election has a right to vie", he said.

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Elsewhere in Nairobi, police used tear gas to disperse thousands of opposition protesters who regrouped outside the election commission's offices and demanded reforms.

Kenya high court says minor candidate can contest presidential re-run