- The agency had its returning officers in the affected constituencies swear affidavits.
- IEBC defended its move not to conduct fresh nominations and to include on the ballot Mr Cyrus Jirongo.
The electoral commission has described the queries lodged at the Supreme Court about the repeat presidential election as “misplaced and ill-conceived” and asked the court to throw out the cases at the petitioners’ cost.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga’s withdrawal from the October 26 election was not properly done and its decision not to hold elections in 25 constituencies was backed by the law.
The agency had its returning officers in the affected constituencies swear affidavits and filed them together with its responses last evening. It also explained the dilemma it found itself in when Mr Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka wrote to pull out of the poll, with just 16 days left.
In response to a petition by activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, the electoral agency said the election laws do not provide for the withdrawal of a candidate outside the regulations and that that can only be done within three days of nomination and by filling a specific form, which did not happen.
It said since Nasa supported Dr Ekuru Aukot’s successful bid to be on the ballot, it should not distance itself from the court’s decision.
The Thirdway Alliance leader’s inclusion paved the way for all eight candidates to be on the ballot, which would have ensured that the poll happened even with Mr Odinga’s withdrawal accepted.
The IEBC said it postponed the election in 25 constituencies in Nasa strongholds because of breach of peace characterised by the destruction of property, threats to its staff and blockades that made polling stations inaccessible. It said even if voting were to happen, the potential ballots cast would not have affected the final result.
On former Kilome MP Harun Mwau’s case, the IEBC defended its move not to conduct fresh nominations and to include on the ballot Mr Cyrus Jirongo despite his having been declared bankrupt.
It said in invalidating the August 8 election, the Supreme Court did not strike out nominations done prior to the poll and that that was not even an issue in the petition.
“The election conducted in October was an election sui generis (unique) and for which there was no requirement for fresh nominations,” the IEBC said in its 14-page response.