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Kenya

Petitioner challenges Punguza Mizigo Bill, seeks to stop debate in counties

IEBC had said 1.2 million registered voters supported the initiative by the Ekuru Aukot-led Thirdway Alliance party/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – A petitioner has filed a suit at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, challenging Thirdway Alliance’s Punguza Mizigo referendum Bill.

Timothy Odhiambo on Thursday asked the court to stop the consideration of the Bill by the 47 county assemblies after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) forwarded it to the devolved legislative assemblies.

He argued that IEBC failed to authenticate signatures of voters supporting the referendum bid.

IEBC had said 1.2 million registered voters supported the initiative by the Ekuru Aukot-led Thirdway Alliance party.

Odhiambo accused the IEBC of contravening Article 257 of the Constitution by  failing to authenticate the   signatures of  1,222,541 registered voters who supported the initiative.

“The admitted failure to authenticate the signatures of the purported supporters of the initiative amounts to a fundamental breach of the Constitution,” Odhiambo stated.

“There is a real and imminent risk that IEBC may submit an unlawful Bill to the County Assemblies within the next three months for consideration,” the petitioner added.

Odhiambo wants results of the verification quashed, and IEBC prohibited from forwarding the Bill for consideration by county assemblies.

He also faulted Thirdway Alliance for publishing the list of individuals who support  the Bill on its website without notifying members of the public.

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