All The Presidential Candidates Might Be On The Ballot Following This Court Ruling.
High Court judge Anthony Mrima has jolted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by quashing regulations requiring independent presidential aspirants to submit at least 48,000 copies of national identity cards or passports of registered voters endorsing their State House bid.
In a ruling that hands a lifeline to presidential aspirants who were kicked out of the presidential line-up by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati for failing to meet the identity cards threshold, justice Mrima quashed at least four sections of the Elections General Regulations 2012, as amended in 2017.
The judge faulted the commission for treating independent aspirants differently from those sponsored by political parties.
The signature requirement according to Mrima was discriminatory and differential treatment in violation of article 37 of the constitution.
In the consolidated petition filed by 18 applicants, among them Presidential aspirants Dr. Ekuru Aukot, Reuben Kigame, James Kamau, Jeremiah Nyagah and Njeru Kathangu who were kicked
out of the State House race, Mrima ruled that IEBC had access to personal data of all registered voters, including copies and numbers of their national identity cards or passports, and should not have compelled presidential aspirants to supply the same information to ascertain support for their bids.
According to the High Court judge, IEBC was in breach of the Data Protection Act, and aspirants had no legal basis to collect personal details of registered voters.
The commission was also faulted for failing to explain how it would use the supplied copies of national identification documents of voters, how long it would keep such documents and eventually, how such information would be disposed without exposing the voters’ data to abuse.
Independent presidential aspirants were required to submit at least 48,000 signatures and copies of identity cards of registered voters as proof of support of their State House bids, for at least 24 counties.
Those eyeing parliamentary, county assembly and gubernatorial candidates were also required to submit copies of identity cards of voters endorsing their ambitions for clearance by IEBC.
Following the ruling, Aukot digged in demanding the resignation of Chebukati, who he accuses of failing to interpret the law correctly.
He also wants the nomination of Raila Odinga, William Ruto, George Wajackoyah and David Waihiga Mwaure to contest in the August presidential race quashed.
The Thirdway Alliance leader is also demanding the shelving of presidential ballot papers printing and a fresh presidential nomination exercise, to accord all aspirants a level playing field.
Sources at IEBC told Citizen TV that judge Mrima’s orders will be contested at the Court of Appeal, as soon as he releases certified copies of his ruling.