NAIROBI, July 29 – Residents of Kamukunji look set to finally get a representative in Parliament after the High Court on Tuesday faulted the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) for halting elections in that constituency.
A two-judge bench directed that the ECK complete the tallying of votes, which was suspended after violence broke out during the process in December last year.
Justices Joseph Nyamu and Roselyn Wendoh said that the decision by the ECK to cancel the election was in excess of its powers.
The Electoral body cancelled the poll after fighting erupted during the tallying process, but the judges on Tuesday ruled that the decision was unreasonable since the missing votes may not have changed the results.
The court, in its decision, also said that the results of 123 polling stations had already been approved and signed by the agents of all the candidates.
Party of National Unity (PNU) candidate Simon Ng’ang’a Mbugua had moved to court early this year to compel the ECK to declare him the winner, claiming that the returning officer had abdicated her statutory duties by failing to announce a victor.
“The power to announce the winner was solely vested on the returning officer, who in this case has failed to do so,” Mbugua’s lawyer Kibe Mungai said.
ECK lawyer Jemmimah Keli challenged the arguments, maintaining that an attempt to complete the exercise was made but was met with hostility.
The election in Kamukunji was nullified after tallying was interrupted at the Shauri Moyo Social Hall tallying centre.
Mbugua could be announced as the winner, going by preliminary results that had been tallied just before the process was nullified.
Other contestants in the poll included Ibrahim Ahmed of ODM, PLO Lumumba (CCM), Pius Muiru (Kenya People’s Party) and immediate former legislator Norman Nyagah of TIP among others in a crowded.