Election Petition Process

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Deputy President William Ruto was declared the President-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission after the August 9th general elections.

 An election that has seen some celebrate victory and some head to court to file petitions over claims of election irregularities, expressing dissatisfaction with the electoral process.

Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate, Martha Karua, on Monday appeared at the supreme court to file a petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election.

The duo claims the election was manipulated to favor President-elect William Ruto.

They are accusing the commission of making the announcement without tallying and verifying results from 27 constituencies, which would have affected the final tally.

Further, the two leaders say the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cannot account for 250,000 votes that were cast, excluding votes cast by voters who voted manually.

Therefore, the leaders have the following demands:

A forensic audit of all equipment, system, and technology used by the IEBC in the presidential election and Mr. Chebukati declared unfit to hold public office.

IEBC to tally and verify the vote and declare them President-elect and Deputy President-elect.

To successfully arrive at a verdict the Supreme Court will have to undergo a certain process as detailed below;

After filing the petition as per the constitution of Kenya, 2010 article (140) (1) and the Constitution of the Supreme Court, the 7-judge bench is expected to come up with a ruling within 14 days after the filing of the petition.

During the 14 days period the following activities will take place in the Supreme Court;

  • Petitioner serving the respondent, here the petitioners have one day to serve their respondents with court documents, which Mr. Odinga and his team already did.
  • In response to the petition, the respondents which include the IEBC commissioners, Dr. Ruto and Deputy President-elect Rigathi Gachagua, have until Saturday, August 27 to file their responses.
  • Interlocutory applications, this stage requires petitioners within one day to file rejoinder applications and responses to the application.
  • The pre-trial conference, the court will hold a pre-trial conference on the eighth day from the date of filing of the petition, which falls on Tuesday, August 30 where parties will have to agree on issues to be determined by the court
  • Hearing the petition, the court together with the help of legal researchers will begin the hearing  immediately after the pre-trial conference and the case should be determined within 14 days after the filing of the case
  • Determining of the petition, If the court is convinced that there are sufficient grounds to support claims of irregularities, the judges will call for a fresh election within 60 days.
  • The seven judges can also dismiss the petitions and uphold Dr. Ruto’s win.
  • Their decision can be unanimous or by majority vote.

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