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Kenyan lawyer says Diaspora Is Not A Constituency, It Contaminates Election

Kenyan lawyer says Diaspora Is Not A Constituency, It Contaminates Election
Kenyan lawyer says Diaspora Is Not A Constituency, It Contaminates Election

A Kenyan Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru says that Diaspora is not a constituency by law and it Contaminates Election: A petitioner wants the Supreme Court to void the August 9 presidential election on grounds that the electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati tallied results outside the 290 constituencies envisaged in the Constitution.

Petitioner David Kariuki Ngare through his lawyer Ndegwa Njiru argued that according to Articles 4 and 89 of the Constitution, the Diaspora is not recognized as a constituency.

Article 89(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be two hundred and ninety constituencies (290) for the purposes of a General Election.

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“We have averment that the elections took place in 291 constituencies, the fundamental question is where did this extra constituency come from and this extra constituency a constitutional constituency defined by the armpits of the constitution under article 89,” he stated while giving submissions in the consolidated petition seeking the nullification of President-Elect William Ruto’s victory as declared by the electoral commission following the August 8 presidential election.

Ruto was declared the winner, defeating Raila Odinga of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya alliance party, who filed a petition alongside eight others with a verdict expected on Monday next week.

The lawyer went on to wonder “How can an election that infiltrated by an alien constituency be regarded as a constitutional election?”

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Njiru argued that the constitution did not vest any powers whatsoever to any individual even the IEBC Chair to add constituencies at will.

“An individual cannot create a constituency, if it was in the interest of Kenyans while promulgating this constitution and adopting this constitution and giving this constitution unto themselves an extra constituency, there was nothing as easy as saying as such,” Ndegwa stated.

Ndegwa indicated that even though Kenyans in the Diaspora have a right to vote, the constitution doesn’t recognize them as a constituency on itself under Article 97 of the constitution.

“To the extent that election in an extra constituency not defined in article 89 of the constitution took place, that contaminated the elections,” he said.

The counsel argued that the Diaspora being regarded as a constituency was in contravention of the constitution given that Chebukati tallied the Diaspora vote when checking the 50+1 threshold attainment for the president-elect as envisaged in Article 138(4).

Ndegwa contended that the computation of the Diaspora vote count for the presidential election in compliance with that threshold was in contravention of the Constitution and the Election Act.

“We are submitting that these elections conducted in alien constituencies contributed to the computation of 50+1 percent,” he stated.

“An election can be voided if it didn’t comply with the constitution or any other written law. A constituency as defined in article 89 must be within the territory of Kenya,” he argued.

Source-https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/

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