, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot held consultations with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Friday morning to discuss preparations for the October 26 repeat presidential election.
In his brief to the media following the meeting, Aukot once again faulted the Commission’s decision to include all candidates who run in the August 8 presidential election terming the move as a fishing expedition on the part of the Commission.
Aukot who Wednesday secured High Court orders for his inclusion in the repeat poll after successfully challenging IEBC’s gazettement of President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee) and National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga as the only candidates in the election said the court orders were specific on who ought to have been included in the fresh poll.
He was categorical that, given Odinga’s intended withdrawal from the election, the only contenders in the presidential election should be President Kenyatta and himself (Aukot).
“There’s uncertainty on their part because I cannot even tell if they are sure on who to include in this election. The court orders were very specific and were in fact in persona and not in rem,” Aukot stated.
“You do not go on a fishing expedition to go look for other people who never expressed interest in the matter,” he added.
Aukot, however, said that his party will review responses given by IEBC on a number of issues before issuing a comprehensive statement.
He assured that Thirdway Alliance will put the country’s interest at the forefront noting that it is vital that the election process is concluded within timelines set out in the law.
“In the interest of concluding and putting this election behind us – because as a party, we’re really concerned with the state of uncertainty in the country – and that is why we think IEBC should move with speed and make decisions,” Aukot explained.
In the Wednesday ruling of the High Court, Justice John Mativo found the electoral commission erred in its decision to omit Aukot’s name in a gazette notice for a fresh presidential election ordered by the Supreme Court when it annulled the August 8 presidential election.
“The petitioner’s rights under Article 38, 27, and 140 (3) of the Constitution have been and continue to be infringed, violated and/or denied by the first and seconds respondents (IEBC and Chairperson Wafula Chebukati) to include him (Aukot) as a presidential candidate in the fresh elections slated for the 26th September 2017,” Justice Mativo declared.
In response to the ruling, IEBC said it was going to include all candidates who took part in the annulled election having interpreted Justice Mativo’s ruling to mean all the candidates locked out of the repeat poll were entitled to run.
“Since all candidates who participated in the last election were entitled to run in the fresh presidential election, the Commission will comply with the direction (of the High Court) to include the names of the other candidates by way of corrigenda,” IEBC said in a statement to newsrooms.
On Thursday, the Commission gazetted 290 Constituency Returning Officers and their deputies in readiness for the repeat presidential contest.
IEBC thorough Commissioner Roselyn Akombe also revealed on Friday that over 200 Presiding Officers who managed the August 8 elections will not oversee the repeat presidential election on October 26.
“We have vetted those who had mistakes and they will not be included in this election,” she said during a forum with election observers at a Nairobi Hotel.
Most of those dropped were overseeing the voting exercise in areas where anomalies were pointed out by the Opposition whose candidate successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to annul the presidential election in which incumbent President Kenyatta was declared the winner.