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IEBC: Wambui was fairly, validly elected

20 August 2013, 15:12 Wangui Joseph

Nyeri - The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday said that Othaya MP, Mary Wambui Munene, was validly and fairly elected.

The commission through lawyer Peter Munge said that elections in the constituency were fairly and credibly conducted in accordance with the constitution.

Munge said Wambui was validly elected, declared winner with a clear margin and thus there was no reason to change the constituents’ will on leadership.

“Voters exercised their democratic right as stipulated in the constitution,” said Munge.

The commission was responding to petitioner Peter Gichuki King’ara's arguments during the proceedings of a suit he filed challenging Wambui’s election.

King’ara had argued that elections in the area were not fairly conducted and was seeking the MP’s election nullified. Wambui garnered 16,285 votes while King’ara got 14,218 votes during the March 4 polls.

The commission said King’ara has so far not proven the allegations he raised in his affidavits and therefore the suit ought to be struck out.

King’ara said Wambui was not eligible to vie for the parliamentary seat since she had not fulfilled the education threshold as provided by the constitution. He said her education level and integrity is questionable.

However, IEBC in response said, “The law allows any person to raise complaint to the commission which has clear mechanisms of addressing pre-election issues. No complains were lodged regarding any candidate prior to the March 4 elections.”

On issue of a votes recount request made by the petitioner, the commission said that King’ara would have sought for recount at the polling stations and tallying centres to show that he was aggrieved by the process but he did not.

“The political party agents were allowed by law to seek recount of votes at the polling stations wherever they were not satisfied but in Othaya none of them forwarded such a prayer,” stated the commission.

IEBC further said that when Wambui’s witnesses in the suit appeared in court, the petitioner did not cross examine them yet they could have given some crucial information to them.

At the same time, King’ara moved to court of appeal seeking review of a recent ruling delivered by Justice Jairus Ngaah that dismissed his two applications.

He had requested the court to order for recount of total votes cast in Othaya Constituency during the March 4 elections.

King’ara had urged court to order that the exercise be done in 92 polling stations out of the 112 polling stations in the constituency and also order for production of Wambui’s higher education certificates. The hearing continues.

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