Tomorrow afternoon at the National Endowment for Democracy, Joel Barkan and Maina Kiai will discuss “The Implications of the Kenyan Election”. Watch the video stream from 1930 to 2100 GMT or 1:30 to 3:00pm EDT (Washington) time.
In continuing to try to come to grips with the lack of substance of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the election petition cases, I am reminded of an article from The Africa Report for February, titled “Can They Pull It Off? The judiciary and electoral commission say they are prepared for the 4 March vote and will not repeat the mistakes of the contested December 2007 polls”.
In the article, the new Chief Justice Mutunga gives what my be some foreshadowing of the Court’s ultimate deference to the IEBC in the election petitions:
Keeping the three arms of government separate and independent should not rule out constructive cooperation, says Mutunga: “I see us protecting the independence of the judiciary but also realising that you’ve got to talk to the ministry of finance, to parliament and that sometimes you might also ask the president to intervene.”
A dialogue between the arms of state is important, insists Mutunga: “As a matter of fact, President [Mwai] Kibaki has never called me about a case. The the hotline [from the President’s office to the Chief Justice’s] is not hot — nobody uses it!” As chief justice, Mutunga joined discussions last year with businesses and President Kibaki about how to ensure the elections were credible and peaceful. He added that the judiciary is committed to helping the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). For example, it has allocated special courts to deal with all electoral disputes quickly.
. . . .
There is, however, nervousness about how the IEBC will fare . . . .
If the role of the Court is to work collectively with the other parts of the Government to promote “credibility” to keep “peace” then perhaps it is best to ignore “legalistic” details like more votes than registered voters in many polling places, and the raising and lowering of the number of registered voters in various parts of the country. Perhaps this is what is meant by a “robust” and “progressive” jurisprudence.
- Thoughts on Kenya’s Supreme Court opinion (africommons.com)
- Is Uhuru on his way to being the next East African authoritarian American darling? (africommons.com)
- Kenyan election: What kind of “audit” did the IEBC do without the actual voter registration lists used? Will the Supreme Court require the registers to be disclosed as sought by AfriCOG? (africommons.com)