Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria has moved to Court accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of discrimination.
The lawmaker is challenging the Commission's decision to stop presidential and gubernatorial aspirants from picking public servants as running mates ahead of the August 9 elections.
Through his lawyer Geoffrey Omenke, Kuria filed the application as ‘very urgent’ citing a litany of reasons key, including IEBC's May 16 deadline for aspirants to name their running mates.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Kuria opined that the regulations will deny many people an opportunity to serve, asking others who feel that their rights have been violated by the Act to join him in seeking legal redress.
Kuria wants the court to give prohibitory orders against the electoral commission from compelling him to have a limited list of running mates adding it’s his prerogative to pick his preferred deputy governor.
The Act provides that civil servants should not vie as running mates since the commission had given up to February 9 for government employees and State officers who wish to vie for public office to resign.
The Act additionally limits the choice of running mates to membership of the same political party as that of the main candidate which Kuria finds discriminatory.
“The petitioner states that the enactment of Section 8 of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2017 is discriminatory in nature for it proceeds to set a precondition that barrs a great number of people including the herein Petitioner from vying for public office as allowed under the provisions of Article 81 (a) of the Constitution,” the statement reads.
The petitioner further argues that the IEBC Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2017 is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 which is the supreme law of the land.
The Kiambu gubernatorial aspirant and Chama Cha Kazi party leader wanted to have a civil servant who he felt was suitable for the job as his running mate but the IEBC sent a letter addressed to CCK knocking out his choice.
Appearing on Citizen TV on Monday, May 9, IEBC commissioner Professor Abdi Guliye stated that they will stick to the law while addressing the matter.
“For a civil servant to arrive at the decision to vie for public office he or she must have had discussions with politicians so there is no excuse as to why they couldn’t resign before the deadline we gave,” Prof Guliye retaliated.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya is among the casualties of the amended poll laws, which will automatically knock him out as a potential Raila Odinga running mate.
Should the court uphold IEBC decision, it will be impossible for civil servants to be considered as running mates for presidential and gubernatorial aspirants.