Speaker seals Magara fate

January 15, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – James Omingo Magara has lost his seat as the South Mugirango Member of Parliament after the Speaker formally declared the seat vacant.

Speaker Kenneth Marende in a Gazette notice released on Thursday indicated that a fresh election can now be conducted by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.

“Pursuant to section 18 of the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act, the Speaker of the National Assembly gives notice that the seat has become vacant,” the notice said.

The Act empowers the speaker to declare a vacancy in Parliament.

Mr Magara lost an election petition filed by his opponent in the 2007 election, Manson Nyamweya before the Kisii High Court.

Mr Magara’s had already moved to the Court of Appeal to contest the ruling that wrested the seat from him.

However the election will not be held for several months after Mr Marende gave the Interim Independent Electoral Commission two months to prepare itself before announcing election dates. It now means the earliest South Mugirango constituents will go to the polls to elect an MP will be after five months.

He cited section 13 (2), of the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act saying after consultations with the IIEC, the period for the issue of  a writ for the purposes of the holding of an election had been extended.

The extension by two months according to the notice starts from January 18 to enable the IIEC to facilitate the proper organisation and holding of the elections.

One of the things that must be done is the registration of voters.
In his ruling last month Kisii resident judge Daniel Musinga said Mr Magara’s election was marred by irregularities and ordered a by-election.

Poll loser Manson Nyamweya, who vied and lost on KANU ticket had filed the petition challenging election of the former Trade assistant Minister. Last year Joel Onyancha lost his Bomachoge parliamentary seat in a case filed before Justice Musinga.

Earlier last year, the High Court ordered a recount of the votes in which Mr Magara won again.


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