, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – Respondents to presidential petitions lodged at the Supreme Court have until 5 pm Sunday to file responses.
Legal teams of President Uhuru Kenyatta, National Super Alliance (NASA) and those representing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are expected to file responses on behalf of their respective clients ahead of Tuesday’s pre-trial hearing.
Chief Justice David Maraga had Wednesday given the practicing directions in which he ordered those wishing to make applications to any of three petitions before the court to do so by midday Monday.
Responses to the applications are to be filed and served by 5 pm on the same day according to guidelines issued by Justice Maraga.
Parties wishing to be admitted in the petitions as friends of the court are also required to file and serve applications on the same day.
Other respondents in the petitions are IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati in his capacity as the National Returning Officer of the repeat presidential election, NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga, his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, coalition co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, Senators James Orengo and Moses Wetangula.
Of the three petitions, one was jointly filed by activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, the other two by former Kilome MP Harun Mwau and the Institute for Democratic Governance.
The petitioners argue that the repeat election was not conducted within the confines of the law, and was largely marred by violence in some parts of the country—while others say there ought to have been fresh nomination of the candidates.
It is the second time the Supreme Court will be convening next week to hear a presidential petition this year, after nullifying the August presidential election due to irregularities and illegalities in a case lodged by NASA leader Raila Odinga who lost to incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Even though Odinga did not file a petition in the repeat poll, he has described it as a sham election and is now agitating for the formation of a coalition government where he will share power will Kenyatta so as to prepare a fresh election in three months time.
Kenyatta, who won the repeat poll boycotted by his rival Odinga, is opposed to this and has said he will subject himself to the legal guidelines until the Supreme Court delivers its outcome.