The High Court refused today to rule on the eligibility of the two defendants to run for the Presidency. According to news reports, the 5 judges held that this was a matter within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court alone. I haven’t read the decision so I will refrain from comment for the moment. But the timing of the decision is sad as it leaves little time for any of the litigants to appeal or to move quickly to the Supreme Court before the election. Hence the title: the two will be on the ballot paper because there is now not time to challenge their inclusion through the courts. ICJ-Kenya, one of those involved in the lawsuit said as much in its post-ruling comments. However, another party to the proceedings, ICPC, threatened to continue the challenge at the Supreme Court, so the tussle may not be over.
Apparently there was jubilation (pun intended) in the streets of Nairobi after the ruling was made. The ruling also explains why I saw vehicles bearing the insignia of a certain coalition on the streets as late as 8pm handing out free election t-shirts.
Interestingly, even Cord lauded the ruling. This is in line with their presidential candidate’s statements during the Presidential debate a few days ago: he doesn’t want to be perceived as using the ICC to eliminate electoral rivals.
Here are further news reports on the ruling.