Could next year’s election be held in 2023?

Ex-nominated Senator Njoroge moves to court seeking next year's general election pushed to 2023

Former Nominated Senator Paul Njoroge has moved to court seeking next year’s general election to be held in 2023.

The former legislature wants the court to declare August 9, 2022, presidential election Illegal and unlawful on grounds that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) made an announcement of the election date at a time when it was not properly constituted since only three commissioners were in office.

Through an application filed in court, the former senator also argues that the IEBC would have shortened the 5-year constitutional term a president is required to serve before exiting office if General Elections will be held on August 9, next year.

“The 1st Respondent has illegally, unlawfully and irregularly declared, decided, determined and/or directed that the next Presidential Elections be held on the August 9, 2022,” court papers read in part.

He has accused the IEBC of illegally, unlawfully, and irregularly procuring costly hardware, software materials and personnel to be deployed in and/or engaged in the said intended Presidential Election.

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“This Honourable Court has the power, mandate, duty and jurisdiction to avert any and all further breaches of the Constitution and other written laws by the Respondents jointly and severally, pending hearing and determination of the Application and the Petition herein,” Njoroge states in his application.

IEBC is appealing findings by the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court over the constitutional composition, quorum and mandate of the Commission after the Appellate Court slammed breaks on the BBI Bill.

 “TAKE NOTICE that the IEBC, the Appellant being dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal given on the 20th day of August 2021 by Honourable Justices D. Musinga; R. Nambuye; H. Okwengu, P. Kiage, G. Kairu, F. Sichale and F. Tuiyot intends to appeal to the Supreme Court against such parts of the decision in relation to the findings by the Honourable Court touching on or relating to the constitutional composition, quorum and mandate of the IEBC,” reads the court documents.

In their ruling in August, Court of Appeal judges said that the BBI Bill was only but meant to hijack and alter the existing Kenyan Constitution through a popular initiative, thus null and void.

The 7-judge bench said the process was unconstitutional and that it was done not in the best interests of the people.

Election Cost

IEBC itself says it is in need of Ksh.40.9 billion to conduct the 2022 general election but have only been allocated Ksh.26 billion by the National Treasury, leaving a deficit of Ksh.14 billion.

The Commission’s Chairman Wafula Chebukati described the amount as the “bare minimum” amid concerns that the cost of elections in Kenya keeps soaring.

Chebukati is calling on the National Treasury to provide remaining funds as requested to facilitate the forthcoming general election.

It has already gazetted the maximum amount of money that candidates in next year’s polls will be allowed to spend on campaigns.

Presidential Candidates’ campaigns have been caped at Ksh.4,435,565,094 in a gazette notice which was issued in August.

In the past general election, presidential candidates were limited to spending Ksh.5.25 billion while those contesting for the governor/senator/women representative seats were allowed to spend up to Ksh.433 million.

The threshold in spending saw Jubilee Party spend the highest amount of money ahead of the August 8 general election, revealed a report on political parties.

The party spent about Ksh.312,141,620 on advertisements aired between January 1 to August 4, 2017, being 65 percent of total political parties’ advertising expenditure.

NASA was second with Ksh.155,153,840, accounting for 33 percent of ad spends within the period, while Maendeleo Chap Chap spent Ksh.1,812,300.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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