Kirinyaga Central MP loses seat

October 22, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – The High court has nullified the election of Kirinyaga Central MP Ngata Kariuki.

He joins a list of other lawmakers in the 10th Parliament whose 2007 poll wins have been nullified by the courts following massive irregularities.

High court judge Mohamed Warsame ruled on Friday that flaws occasioned by officials of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) amounted to serious breaches of the National Assembly and Presidential Act rules.

Former MP Daniel Karaba moved to court in 2008 challenging the election citing electoral malpractices.

Mr Karaba was one of the contestants in Kirinyaga Central constituency during the 2007 poll where Kariuki was declared the winner by the returning officer despite claims that he had more votes.

In the application, Mr Karaba averred that former Electoral Commission of Kenya chairman Samuel Kivuitu admitted that he won the parliamentary elections.

This, he says, was verified by comments and observations of the Kriegler Commission following its independent analysis and verification of the results held by ECK.

Soon after the ruling, Mr Karaba said: "I am happy for winning this petition. I want to thank God for giving us the win and secondly to my lawyer for the good work.  The ruling shows truly that it is me who was elected by the people of Kirinyaga.  I am sure now everyone is now convinced that Kirinyaga Central has a leader in me."

Justice Warsame ruled that the election was not properly and fairly conducted.

He pointed out that the Returning Officer short-changed the will of the people of Kirinyaga Central by declaring the loser as winner.  "There was overwhelming evidence that the sitting MP did not garner the highest number of votes."

He ruled that the declaration by the Returning Officer was made without any basis and was a contravention of the law.

"By doing this, the Returning Officer compromised the rights of the constituents and the petitioner."

The judge said it was apparent that the official of the defunct ECK declared a winner without considering results from all 50 polling stations, and by doing so neglected his electoral duties, and caused confusion and doubt.


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