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CORD vows to challenge law allowing President to appoint Chief Justice

04 January 2016, 12:02 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - CORD has vowed to challenge changes to the Constitution by Parliament allowing the President to have a say in the nomination of the new Chief Justice.

CORD co-principal and Wiper Party Leader, Kalonzo Musyoka warned that changes to the Constitution for the President to nominate CJ from a list of three nominees to be submitted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is an abuse to his powers and undermines Judiciary's independence. 

The Constitution provides that JSC independently conduct thorough scrutiny of the new Chief Justice and the name of its proposed candidate forwarded to the President who then sends the name to Parliament for further scrutiny and approval.

"Independence of Judiciary can never be compromised. What is happening now is to take three names to the President from which he will pick one name as if now the Judiciary has become another parastatal," warned Kalonzo.

He said the opposition and other stakeholders concerned with good governance will move to court to challenge the new legislation that has already been published in the official Kenya gazette. The Wiper Party leader condemned MPs for continuously making controversial changes to the Constitution to benefit interests of a few people including the President.

"It is important to recognize importance of our constitution and what 11th Parliament is doing is really to water down both the letter and spirit of the constitution," said Kalonzo.

The opposition and individuals opposed to the new changes argue that President will influence nomination and appointment of new CJ based on his political interests and loyalty to the government's ideologies.

The current CJ, Willy Mutunga and his deputy Kalpana Rawal are set to retire before the forthcoming 2017 elections hence the need to get qualified candidates for replacement.

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