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26 shortlisted for Supreme Court posts

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has released the names of 26 candidates shortlisted to fill five judges positions in the Supreme Court.

According to the JSC\’s acting Chairperson Christine Mango, 56 people had applied to be part of the seven-member Supreme Court which will be presided over by the Chief Justice and his Deputy.

Ten of those short listed are women.

Some of the candidates who will be interviewed appeared before the JSC over the last 10 days to be grilled for the position of Chief Justice and Deputy CJ.

They include appellate judges Alnashir Visram, Joseph Nyamu and Riaga Omolo who had applied to be Chief Justice. Lady Justices Kalpana Rawal, and Mary Ang\’awa who had also been interviewed have been short listed for the highest court in the land.

Other notable candidates for the post are Justices Muga Apondi, Philip Waki, Hannah Okwengu and Martha Koome.

Lawyers Njoki Ndung\’u and Dr Smokin Wanjala also made it to the list.

The JCS said the candidates would be alerted of the dates for the interviews. Prof Mango made the announcement when the Commission revealed that it had proposed Dr Willy Mutunga and Nancy Baraza as Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice respectively.

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The nomination was welcomed by a cross section of leaders, with Prime Minister Raila Odinga\’s advisor Salim Lone describing the procedure of choosing them as democratic and transparent.

Mr Lone said the new Constitution was testimony that Kenya would achieve its desire of improving its governance.

"Today we can yet again celebrate Kenya\’s greatness. Their nomination reflects yet another extraordinary milestone in the growing democratic space that Kenyans have been able to expand under the Grand Coalition Government.  And by empowering the JSC members to make a transparent decision in which only merit and integrity counted," he said.

For the first time in Kenya\’s history, the candidates were subjected to rigorous  grilling in the full glare of the public after the media was allowed to cover the interviews live on television.

The candidates were quizzed by the panellists and concerns from the public were also brought before them.

Commissioner Mango said the panel picked the two for their outstanding legal background and remarkable integrity and have the capability to reform the judiciary.

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