NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – John Oyioka has been sworn in as MP for Bonchari two weeks after the High Court in Kisii nullified the election of Zebedeo Opore and declared that he had won in the March 4 polls.
Oyioka who vied on a KANU ticket was sworn-in by the Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso. He was escorted into the House by Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Oyioka became the first electoral petitioner in ongoing petitions to be declared MP without going through a by-election.
In a historic ruling, Lady Justice Ruth Sitati declared Oyioka the winner after a recount and scrutiny of votes showed he garnered 8,967 against Opore’s 8,963 votes.
In her ruling, she declared Oyioka the validly elected MP because she did not find him to have committed any electoral offence.
She said Oyioka had made an application for scrutiny and recount of votes cast in the constituency and it confirmed that he indeed won the election.
The Elections Act Section (4) states that an election court may by order/direct the commission to issue a certificate of election to a President, a Member of Parliament or a Member of a County Assembly if upon recount of the ballots cast, the winner is apparent and that winner is found not to have committed an election offence.
The KANU candidate was issued with an election certificate last Wednesday by the IEBC Constituency Returning Officer, Peter Resa, after an anxious day for him and his supporters.
Oyioka and a voter, Nyabaro Onditi, had filed two separate petitions to challenge Opore’s win.
During the March 4 elections, Opore was declared winner by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission with a margin of five votes. At the time, he was said to have garnered 8,987 against Oyioka’s 8,992.