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IEBC should draw inspiration from VAR - Paul Mwangi

Paul Mwangi is representing Azimio One Kenya Alliance flagbearer Raila Odinga

Advocate Paul Mwangi at the Supreme Court during the 2022 presidential election petition. Photo credit: Zakheem Rajan

There was a bizarre but hilarious moment on day one of the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court when lawyer Paul Mwangi referenced the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in football.

Mwangi who is representing Azimio One Kenya Alliance candidates Raila Odinga and Martha Karua, argued that the requirement to declare the presidential election results does not give IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati the power to tally, verify or even reach a decision of what to declare.

He accused the chair of sidelining the other commissioners and treating them as subordinates. “The power given to the IEBC Chairman to declare the results of an election does not give him any power to decide what that result will be,” the advocate said.

Mwangi further highlighted how Chebukati had disrespected the constitution by declaring the Kenya Kwanza candidate William Ruto as president-elect without the support his four other commissioners.

He pointed out how certain sports such as football, rugby, tennis and many more have adopted technologies such as VAR to help review decisions made by the referee or match officials.

"The more important a decision is the more it may require other people to make it. This is even being seen in sports today, that in very important matches, they've moved away from leaving critical decisions to one referee. VAR is used so that more people can weigh on that important decision," said Mwangi.

Mwangi was one of five lawyers representing Odinga who made their submissions before the Supreme Court today. Others were Senior Counsel James Orengo, Julie Soweto, Senior Counsel Philip Murgor and Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee.

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