Kamukunji voters go to the polls on May 23

March 4, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 4 – Voters in Nairobi\’s Kamukunji Constituency will go to the polls on May 23 to elect a new MP following the nullification of Simon Mbugua\’s election by the High Court.

The chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission Issack Hassan on Friday presented writs to the Returning Officer for Kamukunji Constituency Leboo Masindet.

Mr Mbugua\’s election was successfully challenged by Orange Democratic Movement\’s Ibrahim Ahmed alias Johnnie.

Mr Mbugua contested the seat on a PNU ticket and is already mobilising supporters in anticipation for the by-election.

PNU has already stated that it will negotiate fielding a candidate for the Kamukunji by-election with ODM-K. The two parties can only come to a compromise after a joint party nomination to avoid any row between them.

However Mr Mbugua has been lobbying for direct nominations given the fact that he will be defending the seat, which PNU lost through a court petition.

He cited past incidences where the party gave direct nominations to Ali Mwakwere and Maina Kamanda during their court sanctioned by-elections in Matuga and Starehe Constituencies, adding that his case should not be different.

ODM-K on its part is said to be backing its 2007 candidate Yusuf Hassan.

The party wants PNU to compromise and support Mr Hassan just like they did in the Matuga and South Mugirango by-elections.

Mr Mbugua became the eighth Member of Parliament whose 2007 election was nullified over election malpractices.

In her ruling in January, Justice Mary Ang\’awa pointed out that there was no valid result in the poll since it was compromised and lacked transparency.

The judge said the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya and its officers erred in announcing Mr Mbugua the winner yet there were reports and evidence that some ballot boxes were missing.

The petition dragged for three years with complaints of \’delaying tactics\’ as a result of several applications.

The hearing of the election petition stalled further after two judges hearing the suit disqualified themselves.

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