, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – The High Court has allowed the IEBC to superimpose the missing details of Mutula Kilonzo Junior on ballot papers for Friday’s Makueni senatorial by-election.
The decision after a day-long legal battle eased the pressure on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which had already printed ballots in the United Kingdom minus Mutula Jr’s name, and was faced with the nightmare of printing 300,000 fresh ballots locally in under 48 hours.
Justice Richard Mwongo who made the ruling said he was not convinced by the Wiper party’s explanation that superimposing the details posed a risk of electoral fraud.
Wiper lawyers led by Senator James Orengo had argued that it would be unconstitutional to paste Mutula Jr’s name, photo and party symbol on the ballot papers when all other candidate’s details are printed.
Director of Voter Registration Immaculate Kassait told the court the commission would have needed more than a week to order fresh ballot papers.
IEBC lawyer Kimani Muhoro said he did not see any legal challenge likely to arise from pasting Mutula Jr’s name on the ballots.
The problem stems from the fact that the IEBC went ahead and printed ballot papers before the High Court ruled on the exclusion of Kethi Kilonzo from the vote.
More to follow…