Reprieve for Wambui:Supreme Court stops Othaya by-election
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – The Supreme Court has stopped the Othaya Constituency by-election slated for next Tuesday after Mary Wambui appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal that nullified her election.
Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Justice Mohammed Ibrahim ruled that Wambui’s appeal raises issues of great public interest and must be heard by the highest court in the land.
The judges ruled that the court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal after Wambui’s challenger Peter King’ara questioned its jurisdiction, arguing that the application was filed out of time.
Wambui’s lawyer Cecil Miller will now argue the case before the court from Monday next week.
The Court of Appeal nullified Wambui’s election on the grounds that the March 4, 2013 poll in the constituency was marred by irregularities.
Wambui and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have both asked the Supreme Court to stop the by-election arguing that it will cause crisis.
Miller had argued that in case Wambui’s succeeds and on the other hand King’ara wins in the by-election then the constituency will have two MPs.
Wambui had argued that the Appeal Court made grave errors in calling for a repeat election in Othaya by disregarding laws governing elections.
Wambui and the IEBC have both argued that officials from the commission had explained to the satisfaction of the High Court controversies in the Othaya election and as such, the appellate court was wrong in overturning the decision that declared the polls free and fair.
During the last election, Wambui got 16,289 votes against King’ara’s 14,218. However King’ara was not happy with the outcome and moved to the High Court and filed a petition which was dismissed. He then moved to Court of Appeal and won.