Nasa banks on pe­ti­tions to in­crease its num­bers

The East African - - NEWS - By ER­ICK ODUOR The Eastafrican

KENYA’S OP­PO­SI­TION coali­tion, Na­tional Su­per Alliance, is hop­ing to boost its num­bers in the na­tional par­lia­ment and county govern­ments through elec­tion pe­ti­tions, which af­fil­i­ate par­ties have filed in its strongholds.

Ac­cord­ing to the coali­tion, pe­ti­tions chal­leng­ing the re­sults of 58 elec­toral po­si­tions have been iden­ti­fied as a pos­si­ble av­enue into boost­ing the num­bers of its gov­er­nors, Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and Mem­bers of County Assem­blies.

The coali­tion said it is con­fi­dent that the courts will in­val­i­date re­sults of seats that the Ju­bilee Party or Ju­bilee­lean­ing par­ties won in Nasa strongholds — Kakamega, Machakos, Bon­goma, Kisii, Nyamira and Ka­ji­ado coun­ties.

The coali­tion is also com­bin­ing forces to claim more seats in north-east­ern Kenya, mainly in Garissa and Wa­jir coun­ties.

This means that Nasa is eye­ing at least 28 par­lia­men­tary seats, which Ju­bilee claimed in its strongholds. This could bring its num­bers in Na­tional As­sem­bly to at least 164 from 136 and re­duce Ju­bilee’s from 213 to 185 if it wins all pe­ti­tions.

“We have filed 58 pe­ti­tions where we strongly be­lieved that there were com­put­er­gen­er­ated lead­ers,” Nor­man Ma­gaya, head of Nasa sec­re­tar­iat, told The Eastafrican.

The op­po­si­tion has also nine of the 31 pe­ti­tions chal­leng­ing elec­tions of gov­er­nors across the coun­try.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta raised a po­lit­i­cal storm when he warned that, should Nasa leader Raila Odinga emerge vic­to­ri­ous in the fresh pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, he would rule for only two to three months be­fore he con­tends with a Ju­bilee Mp-spon­sored im­peach­ment mo­tion.

Pres­i­dent Keny­atta said Ju­bilee Party en­joys ma­jor­ity in both Houses, and only needs an ad­di­tional 17 MPS to meet the req­ui­site two-thirds ma­jor­ity for such a move.

How­ever, the op­po­si­tion says it will, within the next six months, deny Ju­bilee the ma­jor­ity it en­joys.

The le­gal team led by Si­aya Se­na­tor James Orengo, which won the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion pe­ti­tion in the Supreme Court, is work­ing with Nasa af­fil­i­ates to pro­vide the ex­per­tise and ev­i­dence needed to win at least 58 pe­ti­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ju­di­ciary, 31 gov­er­nors, 15 sen­a­tors, 12 woman rep­re­sen­ta­tives, 98 Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and 129 Mem­bers of County Assem­blies will spend the next six months be­fore the courts de­fend­ing their elec­tion.

Beat­ing the odds

The Nasa le­gal team will rep­re­sent Ms Wavinya Ndeti, who is chal­leng­ing Al­fred Mu­tua’s re-elec­tion as Machakos gov­er­nor.

Other ar­eas of in­ter­est are Ka­ji­ado, Kisii, Nyamira, Narok, Kakamega, Bun­goma and Nairobi coun­ties, where Ju­bilee beat the odds to win par­lia­men­tary seats.

Ma­jor­ity Leader in par­lia­ment Aden Duale is among key Ju­bilee lead­ers whose vic­to­ries have been chal­lenged in court.

Ac­cord­ing to the law, the 277 pe­ti­tions must be dis­pensed with within six months after their fil­ing, which must be done 28 days after dec­la­ra­tion of re­sults. In June, Chief Jus­tice David Maraga gazetted new rules and charges re­plac­ing the Elec­tions (Par­lia­men­tary and County Elec­tions) Pe­ti­tion Rules, 2013.

In 2013 gen­eral elec­tion, 188 pe­ti­tions were filed but 25 were struck out on tech­ni­cal grounds, with only one gov­er­nor los­ing his seat.

Pic: File

After Nasa lawyers Otiende Amollo and James Orengo suc­cess­fully ar­gued a case for re­peat pres­i­den­tial polls, their teams is now fo­cused on the party’s other pe­ti­tions coun­try­wide.

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