Kenya: Court Declines to Allow Party Hopping After Saturday’s Deadline

Nairobi — A three judge-bench has declined to allow for party hopping after the deadline lapses on Saturday pending the hearing and determination of a suit seeking to extend it.

The bench led by Justice Hedwig Ongudi noted that it will issue further directions on the petition once it is heard and determined next week on Friday.

Respondents and interested parties in the case have been directed to file their submissions by close of business next week on Monday with the petitioners required to file their rejoinder if any by close of business the following day.

“The conservatory orders being sought have very serious and far reaching repercussions to all the parties herein and the public at large. A decision on the same may only be made upon hearing all this matter. In the circumstances the oral application for interim conservatory orders is declined,” Justice Ongudi said.

According to the Election Act, all registered political parties are expected to submit their list of aspirants who will participate in the August polls to the Registrar of Political Parties by Saturday for onward transmission to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Once the electoral commission has the list, any member will be legally denied the opportunity to move to a different party to vie for any seat unless they decide to vie as independent candidates.

IEBC had set May 9, 2022 as the deadline for one to vie for any elective seat as an independent candidate.

In recent days, the Kenya political landscape has witnessed mass defections with aspirants switching camps to the top two leading coalitions -Azimio La Umoja Movement headed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Kenya Kwanza Kwanza Alliance spearheaded by Deputy President William Ruto.

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