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IEBC oppose Othaya vote recount

29 August 2013, 11:54 Wangui Joseph

Othaya - The electoral commission on Wednesday opposed an appeal by Othaya polls loser, Peter King’ara, seeking recount and scrutiny of votes cast in the constituency.

King’ara moved to the appeallate court appealing against a ruling delivered by a high court judge, Justice Jairus Ngaah who dismissed the application.

Through lawyer Peter Munge the commission said the application will prejudice the main petition at high court and preempt the pending judgment slated to be delivered on September 12, 2013.

The commission further said that orders for a recount and scrutiny can only be granted if they are the only issues in court.

Before a three-judge-bench presided by Alnasir Visram, Otieno Odek and Martha Koome, King’ara sought dismissal of the high court ruling arguing that the recount prayer is the ‘heart and soul’ of the whole petition.

Through lawyer Mbobu Kyalo, King’ara informed the bench that the election's court denied him a right to be heard and the ruling left him in an uncomfortable situation.

He said his prayer of having votes recounted and scrutinized is the main pillar of the petition but was deprived the opportunity to express himself fully.

“The high court judge demanded evidential basis to my allegation and I provided. I adduced more than 25 witnesses but he ruled that no need of going back to the ballot boxes,” said King’ara, stating that the judge was biased in the matter.

He said whole evidence is in the ballot boxes and he has a burden of proof to confirm his allegation that he garnered more votes than the area MP Mary Wambui.

 “The petitioner has not met his burden of proof which he ought to be granted now. The court behaved inconsistently even after bringing our witnesses in court,” said the lawyer.

The petitioner further stated that during cross examination of witnesses the court stopped them from examining the MP deeply on matters of her integrity, education level and on some affidavits which were sworn by her witnesses.

“We want to put the matter beyond doubt procedurally,” King’ara stated adding that his evidence was suppressed.

He also informed the bench that in more than five polling stations in the constituency votes exceeded number of registered voters.

King’ara persuaded the bench that if his prayer sails through it will just take two or three days for a recount exercise and it will be found that Wambui was invalidly declared therefore her election would be nullified.

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