[Updated] “The People’s Court” launch Friday morning in Nairobi

Update: Here is the story from The Star.  And here is “The People’s Court”!

The Daily Nation coverage is here.

10:00am Friday at the Sarova Stanley in Nairobi InformAction and AfriCOG will launch a new online collaboration:

The website is a joint project between AfriCOG and InformAction and is an attempt to present in public all the evidence around the recent elections. Some of that is from the cases filed at the Supreme Court, but it will also include material and information from citizens, observers and others. Citizens will be provided a location to post /Number to send text messages in order to submit any information and evidence they gathered so that the complete truth on the recent elections can emerge.

Importantly, The People’s Court will be an accountability mechanism on the IEBC and the Supreme Court. Analysis of the Court’s decision will be posted on the website hoping to engender critical and constructive discussions on why they took the decision that they did, in the face of the evidence that will be presented.

The People’s Court gives the public unique access to all the evidence filed at the Supreme Court in the Civil Society petition challenging the election process.

By inviting citizen participation, we aim to make institutions accountable and uphold the high democratic standards of the constitution. We also hope that the website will be used as a forum for debate and opinion, celebrating freedom of expression in Kenya and our vibrant tradition of democracy activism.

Kenyan High Court, while finding no jurisdiction to examine IEBC’s process because it touches on the election of a President, states that civil society case raises issue that should be examined in appropriate forum

My personal heroes with Kenyan civil society, the African Centre for Open Governance, went to the Kenyan High Court this morning with a petition seeking equitable relief to direct the IEBC to follow the election law, focusing on the verification of actual voting by polling station as discussed in my previous post.

The court ordered argument on jurisdiction alone at 11:00am in front of a three judge panel appointed by the Supreme Court, with ruling to be announced at 3:00. The ruling was not announced until 4:30. The court ruled essentially that any challenge to IEBC procedure related to the presidential election such that it could only be brought in the Supreme Court of Kenya. IEBC’s lawyer also argued that the Supreme Court could only hear the case after the IEBC declares an election result, although that would presumably be a decision for the Supreme Court itself. Thus the High Court “struck off” the case, finding no jurisdiction to act.

However, the Court did state that they had reviewed the affidavits and other evidence presented in support of the petition and found that they raised issues that were “not idle” and should be pursued in the appropriate forum. And ruled that each side to bear its own costs.

Things remain with the IEBC the time being.