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Supreme Court prepares for presidential election petitions

Both Ruto’s and Odinga’s camps have already claimed the win and are likely to head to the Supreme Court.

CJ Martha Koome

The Judiciary is preparing to handle all poll disputes as the country eagerly awaits the announcement of the presidential election winner.

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The Judiciary on Sunday announced that judges of all levels including the Supreme Court were up to the task.

Judiciary Committee on Elections chaired by SC Judge Mohammed Ibrahim prepares the institution to handle electoral disputes. It looks at training, financial & HR aspects to ensure disputes are efficiently dealt with. During this season, approach the court with confidence. We're ready,” the Judiciary announced in a statement.

The JCE collaborated with the Kenya Judiciary Academy to conduct electoral dispute resolution training for the judges between February and July 2022.

"The Judiciary Committee on Elections has concluded the training of all Judges, Judicial Officers and Judiciary Staff who will handle Election Dispute Resolution (EDR) matters,” Chief Justice Martha Koome who is the president of the Supreme Court assured election observers on election day.

The two leading presidential candidates William Ruto and Raila Odinga have been in a tight race as seen from IEBC’s latest results.

Both Ruto’s and Odinga’s camps have already claimed the win and are likely to head to the Supreme Court if IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati’s announcement is not what they expected.

According to the constitution, Chebukati has until Tuesday, August 16 to announce the winner.

In readiness to receive an election petition, the Judiciary has shared a document, elaborating the process of disputing the presidential election results.

Either Raila, Ruto or George Wajackoya will have to file a petition challenging the results, within seven days from the date of the announcement of the winner.

After being served, the winner will have four days to file a response to the petition and the loser will be given 24 hours to file a rejoinder.

A rejoinder may include a response to the new facts raised by the winner in their submissions.

Both parties will be given two days to ask the judges to make specific orders to help their cases, by commanding something to be done or prohibiting it.

This will be followed by applications by third parties to be enjoined as friends of the court (amicus curiae), which is expected to take one day.

The Supreme Court will then be required to convene a pre-trial conference within 8 days from the filing of the petition.

A pre-trial conference provides an informal setting for all parties and the Judge to: identify the facts that are agreed upon or are in dispute; clarify the issues between the parties; and. attempt to reach a resolution by way of a voluntary agreement.

The judges will then be required to hear the election dispute petition immediately after the pre-trial conference and proceed to deliver a judgement within 14 days of the filing of the petition.

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