Mombasa court outlaws act requiring counties to have at least 15 wards

Mombasa court outlaws act requiring counties to have at least 15 wards

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Mombasa, KENYA: Mombasa high court on Tuesday declared section 26 of the county government act unconstitutional.

This section required each county to have at least fifteen wards for general elections to be carried out.

The section reads “for the purpose of the first general elections under the constitution,IEBC shall ensure that each county comprises at least fifteen wards.”

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had filed a cross petition in Mombasa high court challenging section 26 of the county government act .

It also requires IEBC to review the names of the boundaries of the wards at intervals and ensure that no county shall comprise less than fifteen wards.

Cross petition was after residents in Lamu County filed a petition in court challenging IEBC for conducting 2013 general elections in the county without following the constitution.

According to petitioners laywer Mr.Yusuf Abubakar, it was unconstitutional for IEBC to conduct elections in Lamu county with only ten wards when the constitution states at least fifteen.

He also challenged IEBC for giving more MCA nomination positions in Lamu compared to other counties, as a way of defending themselves.

When delivering the judgement Mombasa judge Anyara Emukule dismissed the application to challenge number of wards in Lamu county; saying similar petitions were earlier dismissed in Malindi high court.

He further said any petition seeking to challenge IEBC boundaries should be filed in court within 30 days, after names of boundaries have been published in the  Kenya gazette notice.

Emukule also directed each party to pay for its own costs.