PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL STILL SEEKS NOMINATION AFTER DEADLINE.

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Independent Presidential aspirant Solomon Gichira accused of attempting to commit suicide has petitioned the High court  to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to be enlist him for the race incoming general election.

Mr Gichira cried foul that he had been turned away and his candidacy rejected on the basis that he had been time-barred in submitting a list of signatures of at least 48,000 supporters countrywide.

In an urgent application, the aggrieved candidate said he was likely to be excluded from participating in the August 8 General Election after IEBC deliberately disobeyed court orders allowing him to submit the contentious papers.

He wants the national elections agency blocked from making any further preparations for the presidential election, including printing of ballot papers, pending the outcome of his petition.

 

Last week, Justice George Odunga nullified restrictions imposed on independent presidential candidates to enlist supporters who have no political affiliation. Similarly, the court outlawed the requirement by IEBC that independent presidential aspirants submit signatures of their 2,000 nominees from 24 Counties through electronic format.

On Monday, Gichira was charged with attempted suicide, malicious damage to property and creating disturbance following his altercation with IEBC officials and police officers on Sunday at the Anniversary Towers offices in Nairobi. He was released on Sh200,000 cash bail after denying the charges.

Justice George Odunga ruled that Section 29 of the Elections Act-which imposed the sanctions exclusively on presidential candidates-contravened Article 27 of the Constitution that enshrines freedom from discrimination.

“I declare that the requirement issued by IEBC on May 17 that presidential aspirants do submit their nomination signatures by way of Microsoft Excel is unlawful and unconstitutional,” Justice Odunga had said.

“The IEBC went overboard and purported to unlawfully and unjustifiably restrict or limit the rights of such candidates to exercise their political rights under the Constitution. I find that the requirement does not meet the fairness and reasonability test as provided for under Article 24 of the Constitution,” the Judge observed.

The Judge said the requirement that presidential candidates could only be nominated by members of their political party “contravenes Articles 27 (2) and (4) and Article 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution and is, therefore, null and void.”

 

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