Historic Raila court victory will embolden Kenya’s judges- Lawyer

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The historic election petition victory by the opposition party in Kenya is set to revolutionize the judiciary in Kenya, lead counsel for the NASA group has said.

James Orengo who represented Raila Odinga and the opposition parties believes the judiciary in Kenya has for years been more “executive than the executive” but this landmark decision will emboldened the judiciary to be more independent.

He was speaking to host of Joy FM’s Newsfile programme, a day after Kenya’s Supreme Court ruled that the just ended election which was declared in favour of Uhuru Kenya was flawed and pregnant with irregularities.

The court further ordered that the election should be reorganised in 60 days.

“The declaration [of Kenyatta’s win] is invalid, null and void,” Justice David Maraga announced the majority 4-2 decision.

According to Maraga the election commission “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution”.

The ruling has come as a shock to a great number of people, especially coming from an African country where judges are usually unable to rule against an incumbent president.

In a national address following the court decision, the incumbent president said by nullifying the vote the six members of the Supreme Court has gone “against the will of the people.”

Uhuru Kenyatta said that while he “personally disagrees” with the ruling, he will “respect it”.

“It is important to respect the rule of law … we are ready to go back again to the people with the same agenda,” he said.

James Orengo told Samson Lardy Anyenini, a lot of Kenyans are happy with the decision because this is not something most of them expected.

For a party whose election petition was thrown out last four years, James said this victory came as a great surprise to many.

He said the “consequences of this historic election petition is grave. The judiciary is on trial for many years.

“Part of the campaign for a new constitution was based on concerns of Kenyas. The judiciary was more executive than the executive.

“We needed a new constitutional dispensation that will give judicial authority to the courts,” he said.

Having won this preliminary victory, the lead counsel said they will again go to court to ask for some elements within the Electoral Commission and who supervised the irregular election to step aside.

 

 

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