The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been caught in a dilemma on just how many candidates will be allowed to participate in the new presidential election.
While the Constitution and the law on elections is silent on the process of conducting a fresh poll, IEBC is considering a finding contained in the 2013 presidential election petition judgment of the Supreme Court.
The then Dr. Willy Mutunga-led bench found that a fresh poll following invalidation of a presidential election should be limited to the petitioner or petitioners and the previously declared president-elect.
As such the candidature could comprise Raila Odinga versus President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Supreme Court then held that a presidential candidate who had not contested an IEBC decision through a petition would be held to have conceded defeat and uninterested in a second round of elections.
But Third Way Alliance’s Dr Ekuru Aukot successfully applied to be enjoined in this year’s petition as an interested party contesting the quality of the election and IEBC is now seeking guidance on whether to include him in the presidential contest, despite not being one of the petitioners.
Speaking to The Informer, Aukot holds that all the 8 candidates must be allowed to run regardless of their earlier concession as the entire process had been annulled by the Supreme Court.
IEBC is also awaiting the full judgment of the court for clear directions with only 58 days remaining for the poll body to conduct fresh polls as ordered by the Supreme Court.
IEBC, however, maintains that there will be no presidential nominations essentially limiting the race to the eight who contested in August 8.
This even as preparations for a fresh poll began, the commission plans to recall all the more than 40,000 electronic election management kits that must be cleaned up of the data there-in and reconfigured with data for the new poll.
The poll body must also identify the supplier of new ballot papers and specify the security features for relevant forms.