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Petition filed at Kenya Supreme Court challenges re-election win

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan politician on Monday filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the validity of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in the fresh presidential polls on Oct. 26.

The petition, which was filed by Harun Mwau, is expected to delay Kenyatta’s swearing-in as the country’s apex court sits to consider the merits of the petition.

In his petition, Mwau accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of violating the law by failing to subject candidates to fresh nominations as required by law and also as directed by the Supreme Court.

He said the IEBC violated sections of the constitution by failing to comply with the mandatory requirement by subjecting the eight presidential candidates to fresh nominations.

Mwau also alleged that the electoral body and its chairman, Wafula Chebukati, failed to ensure the voting was simple and transparent because the election was not lawfully done because no candidate was validly nominated.

He argued that failure by the IEBC to publish the nomination date in the gazette notice announcing the repeat poll was "unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, irregular and in violation of articles in the Elections Act."

The former lawmaker said the commission failed to regulate the nomination of candidates in their respective parties by refusing to monitor the compliance of candidates with nominations laws against Article 88 of the constitution.

"Proceeding to conduct fresh presidential elections without nominated candidates, nominations, without fees, and without giving persons listed as candidates equal campaign period, directly affected the conduct and results of the fresh presidential elections of Oct. 26," the petition reads.

Despite clear constitutional and electoral laws, which provide the manner, conditions, precedent and timeframe within which presidential elections are to be held, and the Supreme Court order of Sept. 1, Mwau said, the commission deliberately disobeyed the said orders and applicable laws.

"This renders the elections held on Oct. 26 invalid as they were conducted in an unconstitutional, irregular, illegal manner and in flagrant disobedience of the court directions."

The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, withdrew from the Oct. 26 fresh presidential elections citing failure by the IEBC to implement reforms and act against staffers who bungled the Aug. 8 which was nullified.

The Supreme Court will have four days to hear and determine the dispute, and if the case sails through the preliminary stage, the hearing will start on Nov. 13.

The court will have until Nov. 16 to decide whether to uphold Kenyatta’s win or to order for yet another fresh poll within 60 days.

If Kenyatta’s re-election is upheld, he will be sworn in on Nov. 23.

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