Chief Justice Maraga Joins Push for Electoral Reforms
Speaking on Monday during the Law Society of Kenya Colloquium (conference) on the Presidential Election Petitions last year, Maraga warned Kenya of political risks it faces for failing to cure the weaknesses in its electoral systems.
Together with retired South African judge Johann Kriegler, the duo warned the nation against solving political problems in the corridors of justice.
Maraga also raised the flag on gaps in the law relating to an annulment of a presidential election and the withdrawal of a candidate from the top race.
[caption caption="Chief Justice David Maraga at a meeting with NASA leaders"][/caption]
“Whereas the law is clear about what happens should a candidate die in between, the lack of specificity in regard to withdrawal leaves us with uncomfortable grey areas that require legislative attention,” noted Justice Maraga.
Kriegler, who probed the flawed 2007 polls, stated that Kenya has become too obsessed with the law as an end to political disputed, thus triggering unending power struggled.
The retired justice also cautioned against politicising the performance of the Judiciary, an arm of government, adding there is need to give up litigation for political dialogue.
“Lawyers do not comprehend the complexity of the elections. Elections are political processes, not legal. Law is about substance; elections are about perceptions,” explained Kriegler.
Addressing lawyers at the conference, Kriegler requested lawyers to de-legalise elections and seek political solutions to electoral rows.
Although he acknowledged the nation had made progress in the electoral process, he highlighted that Kenya had resorted to law even in situations that can be solved politically.
“You have not let go of the ethnic suspicions that the colonial masters left you with. Use law as the ultimate resolve in political disputes,” he advised.
[caption caption="Retired judge Johann Kriegler"][/caption]
This comes after the Opposition's consistent push for electoral reforms, leading to the NASA threatening to have their leader sworn in as the President by the People's Assembly on January 30.
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