Magistrate should hear MCA election dispute, says IEBC
LAMU | The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said a dispute over election of a Member of the County Assembly ought to be heard by a magistrate.
In its preliminary objection to a petition filed by a voter in Lamu County, the IEBC further argued the power to determine validity of an election of an MCA will be heard and determined by the resident magistrate court.
Michael Kanja Kagori, a voter in Bahari Ward is challenging the constitutionality of the nomination process of an MCA and is seeking a declaration that IEBC’S failure to hear his complaint on party-hopping by a candidate from Jubilee Party to the Party of Democratic Unity. Through lawyer Joab Weloba, IEBC further told Justice Patrick Otieno that the Constitution provides time for settling an electoral dispute under the Elections Act.
Mr Weloba said an election petition court is not barred from considering constitutional issues.
“The application and the petition before court is therefore bad in law for having contravened express statutory provisions and should be struck out,” the preliminary objection further stated.
The petitioner has also sued Party of Democratic Unity (PDU), the Lamu County Assembly clerk, the County Assembly of Lamu, the Registrar of Political Parties and Anthony Njomo, whom he is accusing of party hopping.