Kenyan opposition explains lack of quorum

2017-10-25 18:07
Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga of the opposition National Super Alliance coalition gestures as he attends a political rally at the Kamukunji Ground in Nairobi. (Simon Maina, AFP)

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga of the opposition National Super Alliance coalition gestures as he attends a political rally at the Kamukunji Ground in Nairobi. (Simon Maina, AFP)

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Nairobi - Opposition leader Raila Odinga's lawyer says it was not by accident that the Supreme Court did not have a quorum to hear an urgent appeal to postpone the Thursday's repeat presidential elections.

James Orengo said President Uhuru Kenyatta tried to prevent the court hearing by declaring public holidays on Wednesday and Thursday.

Orengo said that the move didn't work because Chief Justice David Maraga ordered the courts to hear election petitions during the holidays. Then Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu felt threatened when her driver was seriously wounded in a shooting. Mwilu did not show up for the last-minute hearing.

Mwilu's driver, a police constable, was shot and seriously wounded on Tuesday evening when he went to buy flowers by assailants who tried to force him back into the judge's official car. He had just dropped the justice at her home. Many Kenyans saw this as intimidation of the courts.

Orengo said two justices of the Supreme Court who had dissented when the court ruled 4-2 to nullify Kenyatta's re-election also did not turn up.

In the end, only two justices showed up at the Supreme Court.

The petition by the three voters was seeking the Supreme Court orders to postpone the Thursday presidential election arguing that not enough had been done to ensure it is credible and it could lead to anarchy.

The opposition leader Raila Odinga is boycotting the election, saying credible elections are not possible. The head of the electoral commission has also said free and fair elections are not possible. President Kenyatta has said he wants the election to continue despite the concerns

Read more on:    uhuru ke­n­yatta  |  raila odinga  |  kenya  |  kenya 2017 elections  |  east africa
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