Court says No to party hopping as governors loses case


BY JOHN WERU,NAIROBI,26TH APRIL 2017-A  case filed by the Council of Governors  in court contesting a section of the amended Elections Laws that prohibits party hopping has been thrown out.This means that all  Politicians who lose during the ongoing party primaries will only be on the ballot come August 8 as independent candidates and not through defection to other parties.

The ruling was delivered Wednesday by high court judge  Chacha Mwita .While issuining the ruling  justice Mwita Noted   that the amended laws provide that a person shall not be a member of more than one political party at the same time, Justice Mwita said the same does not bar the petitioners from participating in the elections as independent candidates.

According to the judge, Section 28 of the Amended Act is necessary in a democratic society to ensure proper preparation and management of the electoral process.

He went on to say that the law requiring political parties to file a list of party members within a set time frame prior to a general election or by-elections is necessary to the integrity of the electoral process.

An individual who is not sufficiently nominated, justice Mwita said can only shift his allegiance to another party within the time frame spelt out by the IEBC.

“I find that the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that the challenged section is unconstitutional or in any manner infringes any provisions of the Constitution,” he ruled.

 The governors’ umbrella body had argued that whereas a person may have genuine justifiable and warranted reasons for defection, he or she cannot exercise the constitutional political freedom to resign and join another political party for election within the nomination time-frame.

The CoG faulted the law arguing that its restriction to political freedoms is wholly disproportionate in an open and democratic society.


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