Party in court to have elections held in 2021

A political party has moved to court seeking to have the next General Election held next year.

Forum for Republican Democracy (Ford), in court papers, argues that all elected leaders will have their terms end in 2021, and that the election should, therefore, be held on August 8 of the same year.

Ford asserts that MCAs, governors, MPs, senators and the President formally entered office on August 8, 2017, which means their fifth year in office starts next year.

Second Tuesday

According to the Constitution, a general election should be held on the second Tuesday of August of every fifth year. Ford’s lawyer Kamau Nyaga claims political leaders risk serving for six years instead of the legally required five.

Ford has named the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as respondents.
“We will be going against the Constitution by insinuating that elections in Kenya will be held in August 2022 and not August 2021,” the papers filed yesterday read.

It is not the first time the question of election date has landed in court.

In 2012, the Court of Appeal was forced to rule that the country should hold its elections on March 4, 2013.

Terminated government

Four judges – Erastus Githinji, Kalpana Rawal, Hannah Okwengu and David Maraga – terminated the Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga coalition government four months before it went its full cycle.

The Court of Appeal had backed an earlier ruling by the High Court that elections then, ought to be held on March 4, while subsequent ones were to be held on August of each election year.

The case that had been filed by former Kilome MP Harun Mwau and lawyer Mugambi Imanyara had sought that the election date defined.

Dissenting opinion

Justice Martha Koome gave a dissenting opinion when she declared that the General Election should be held not later than January 15.

According to Justice Koome, the election date should fall 60 days before the end of Parliament’s term.

“In my view, dissolution of Parliament 60 days after the expiry of its term extends its mandate beyond five years, hence violating the Constitution,” Koome said.

She noted that the formula of arriving at the date agreed that elections should be held 60 days before the expiry of Parliament’s term. This would have meant that the 2013 elections should instead have been held on November 14, 2012.

Ford has blamed IEBC and the AG for not defining the election date properly.

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