by Bedah Mengo NAIROBI
(Xinhua) -- Ruling party Jubilee and opposition, National Super
Alliance (NASA), are headed for a fresh battle as the former
seeks to amend electoral and the Supreme Court laws to make it
difficult for judges to annul polls.
Jubilee, through parliament, plots to tame the Supreme Court
and the Judiciary in general following the annulment of the
presidential results on Sep. 1.
Legislators of the ruling party, on which President Uhuru
Kenyatta ran for the presidency, feel the Supreme Court robbed
their candidate victory and are keen to ensure such thing does
not happen again after the Oct. 26 fresh polls.
The lawmakers are, therefore, working on a raft of amendments
which they will introduce in Parliament on Tuesday to change
electoral laws and make it harder for the Supreme Court to
cancel presidential results.
"We are going to amend any sections of the law that are a
stumbling block to Kenyans in electing their leaders," said
Jubilee’s Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen on Sunday.
"Once the changes are made, the Supreme Court judges will be
neutered, they will have no choice but to follow them.
"They would never pluck imaginations of their own to come up
with a decision," he added.
The laws the party are to amend are the Supreme Court Act and
the Elections Act, the latter which was changed few months to
Aug. 8 elections.
Githu Muigai, Kenyan Attorney General addresses
the press in Nairobi, Sept. 22, 2017. Githu Muigai on
Friday dismissed claims of a looming constitutional
crisis as the country prepares for repeat presidential
election. He said National Super Alliance (NASA)
lawyers’ recent claims that a caretaker or transitional
government would be formed if IEBC fails to hold the
poll, were misguided. The term of the President ends on
the day of swearing in of the new President.
Jubilee Party has the majority members in both the Senate and
the National Assembly.
In the latter, Jubilee and his affiliate parties has 193 MPs
against Raila Odinga’s NASA 138. In the Senate, the ruling party
has 38 senators against NASA’s 28.
Therefore, the party has the numbers to amend any laws to
serve its whims, with its leaders ready to use the majority to
eliminate perceived stumbling blocks on Kenyatta’s ascension to
Kenyatta termed the decision by the court to annul his win as
a "judicial coup" and has more than once promised to fix the
institution, setting the pace for the actions by MPs of his
Jubilee’s fight with the Judiciary seems multi-pronged as
they have also targeted the Supreme Court registrar, whom they
accuse of misleading the judges to cancel the polls.
A lawyer aligned to the party has filed a petition asking the
Director of Public Prosecutions and Ethics and Anti-Corruption
Commission to investigate the registrar for allegedly handing
the judges a false report which they used to return their
The registrar’s report showed forms used in announcing the
presidential results were forged, an assertion one of the
dissenting judges disputed.
"The two contrasting viewpoints cannot be factually correct.
The forms examined by the judge were certified copies
deposited by the electoral commission in 48 hours of filing of
the petition challenging the presidential election," said lawyer
Kioko Kilukumi in a petition.
Three other petitions targeting the chief justice and two of
his colleagues who annulled the poll have been filed at the
Judicial Service Commission by Jubilee operatives.
Last week, Chief Justice David Maraga vowed to pay the
ultimate price to protect the constitution and condemned attacks
Odinga’s NASA has vowed to oppose any changes to the
electoral laws and the Supreme Court Act before the Oct. 26
polls, with the presidential candidates noting there would be no
elections if the unilateral amendments happen.
"If they are going to seek to change the electoral laws, then
we would not go to elections.
"We cannot conduct elections in such an environment," said MP
John Mbadi, an Odinga ally.
Legal experts are divided along the main party lines on the
move by the Jubilee to change laws that they perceive are
unfavorable to Kenyatta winning polls.
"The most of Jubilee’s proposed changes to the Supreme Court
Act and election laws are patently unconstitutional.
"The Supreme Court would strike them down.
"You don’t change laws because it suits you," said Professor
Makau Mutua, a constitutional lawyer.