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Votes cast exceeded registered voters in Othaya

16 May 2013, 16:14 Wangui Joseph

Othaya - Total votes cast in Othaya constituency exceeded number of registered voters during March polls, a court was told on Wednesday.

Lawyer Marete Kithinji representing the petitioner, Gichuki King’ara, told Justice Jairus Ngaa that results indicated in forms 35 and 36 differed substantially.

He said the manipulation was done in favor of Mary Wambui Munene who was later declared the winner of Othaya Mp’s seat.

Marete made an application in court to order scrutiny and recounting of votes from polling centers in question like Mahiga, Iriani, Gatugi and Gathuthi arguing that his submission is well empowered by law.

He said importance of the exercise should not be discounted since elections were marred with irregularities in the area claiming that there was no transparency which was an obligation of the polls body. “Voters democratic will and right was infringed,” he said.

In the petition, King’ara who came second in the polls has named Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), IEBC’s Othaya Presiding Officer James Mbai and MP Mary Wambui as respondents respectively.

Marete also applied for court to enquire on what seals belonging to Mahiga polling station were doing at Kagere poling centre and were found in possession of the presiding officer and his staffs. “This was part of the wider conspiracy to subvert the democratic process in Othaya,” said Marete.

However, lawyer Peter Munge representing IEBC responded that the petitioner’s applications are out of law and have no law blessings but he is just seeking court protection.

Munge said the ballots papers are in the boxes which nobody has permission to open or interfere with unless through a court order which can not be given in vain.

He however admitted there were some transposition errors which are disclosed in the forms but said they did not change the democratic will of voters whatsoever.

“There were minor and transposition errors but did not substantiate on the results. Some errors occurred due to fatigue while others were typographical and humanity,” said Munge.

Wambui’s lawyer Cecil Miller opposed recounting exercise saying the gap of 2,067 votes was a wider considerable defeat and therefore told court to disregard the application.

He said the petitioner has not shown errors that can form basis of scrutiny adding that the application is premature.

Miller argued if the forms are examined well, it will be found that the entry and transposition errors were favoring King’ara and he gained some extra votes than Wambui. He said the petitioner’s request does not meet special purposes.

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