we will challenge the law limiting elections appeals if passed-Governors

MOU signing Agreement between the   Kenya governors and the Kenya Australia Chamber of Commerce at the COG offices in nairobi on 12TH APRIL 2017/UPESINEWS.

BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,12TH APRIL 2017-The Council of Governors  has challenged the ligality  of a proposed law that seeks to amend the elections law by allowing only one appeal in an election petition.

CoG Chairman and Meru Governor Peter Munya stated that the amendment means that the Supreme Court will only hear and determine the presidential election petition while those arising from disputed election of governors, senators, Members of Parliament and Woman Representatives will end at the Court of Appeal.

He argues that the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2017 seeks to amend the Elections Act No. 25 of 2011 and introduce new requirements among others, allowing only one appeal in an election petition thereby limiting the jurisdiction of the courts to hear and determine election petitions.

“A Bill of this nature goes against the will of Kenyans who overwhelmingly endorsed the Constitution which explicitly provides for access to the highest court in the land,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.

Munya adds that the proposals are in disregard of the precedence set by the Supreme Court after the 2013 elections that it has jurisdiction to hear all appeals arising from poll petitions.Munya says they will go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the law if implemented.

County bosses argue that this law locks out those with genuine justifiable reasons from defecting after the deadline hence it is improper in a democratic society.

“As a matter of fact, in various election petitions emanating from the 2013 General Election, the Supreme Court pronounced itself on the parameters of appeals it can entertain. It is already set in jurisprudence that for interpretation of the Constitution and matters of high public interest, appeals shall lie up to the Supreme Court. Indeed, this Bill is unconstitutional,” the Meru Governor noted.

 The Bill is currently at the  Second Reading  phase in the National Assembly.

 

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