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Ikolomani poll set for May 23

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – Voters in Ikolomani constituency will go to the polls on May 23 to choose their next Member of Parliament.

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission on Friday announced it would receive nominations papers of candidates on April 27th and 28th.

"Each political party wishing to participate in the by-election must finalise the nominations of its candidate on or before April 21," the IIEC said in a Gazette notice.

The seat fell vacant after former MP Bonny Khalwale lost an election petition.

In his judgment, Justice Isaac Lenaola nullified Mr Khalwale\’s election citing electoral malpractices.

The petitioner, Bernard Shinali, argued that serious discrepancies were detected and the court granted his plea to inspect Forms 16A and 17A in June last year.

The inspection concluded that seven out of 78 ballot boxes inspected did not either have the documents or had more than required by law and this, it was argued, affected the result.

Mr Shinali\’s lawyer Stephen Mwenesi had applied for summary judgment based on recorded facts of an inspection of documents that was ordered by the court on June 9 that showed that the parliamentary election was riddled with irregularities.

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The IIEC has also gazetted Benjamin Kipchumba Tarus as the Returning Officer for the Ikolomani poll while Henry Bahati shall be his deputy.

Dr Khalwale was the 10th MP to lose his seat in an election petition. Others are Omingo Magara (South Mugirango), Joel Onyancha (Bomachoge), John Ngata Kariuki (Kirinyaga Central), George Thuo (Juja) and Dick Wathika (Makadara).

Abdirahman Hassan (Wajir South), Ali Chirau Mwakwere (Matuga), Margaret Wanjiru (Starehe) and Simon Mbugua (Kamukunji) were also floored at the High Court.

Voters in Kamukunji constituency will on the other hand go to the polls to elect a new MP on April 21.

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