Like everyone else who is engaged but not able to be in the courtroom, I am watching live broadcast of the preliminary hearings in Kenya’s Supreme Court of the petitions challenging the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s March 9 announcement of “final” election results.
The live broadcast of these proceedings is an amazing development–to me of much greater significance than the presidential campaign debates.
I wanted to take just a moment to stress the role of Gladwell Otieno as petitioner as executive director of AfriCOG. The AfriCOG filing is petition no. 4–followed by CORD’s petition no. 5. Although the court has tended to give an unbalanced share of time to the array of government-paid lawyers representing the two defendants who are in lock-step, Hassan as the national returning officer in the presidential vote, and the IEBC which he chairs, AfriCOG, as an open governance organization, has taken on the challenge of defending the interests of the voters and integrity of the process itself.
This is not about Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta–this is about the Kenyan democracy.
It has been interesting to see the respondents file replies to AFriCOG’s petition trying to ignore the issues by simply referring to the “already filed” responses to the subsequent CORD petition–it is in their interest to try to frame the issue as one about a challenge by a losing candidate rather than about why the IEBC did not do its job, and meet its obligation to each citizen under the Constitution, of holding a simple, fair and transparent election.
- Kenya needs a better election review process next time . . . as respondents argue that IEBC has done “so much” that presidential election announcement should stand as good enough (africommons.com)