If a petition filed with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is successful, both former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his former Running mate Martha Karua could gain seats in Parliament.
A petition drafted by a Nairobi architect, Nyongesa Makhanu and dated September 30, 2022, asks for a modification to the Constitution so that the losing Presidential candidate can be elected as a Nominated MP.
The petitioner also wants the running mate of the losing candidate to be nominated to the Senate.
With the approval of his petition, the former Prime Minister would return to Parliament for the first time since he was elected in 1997, when he represented the Lang’ata Constituency. Raila served as both an elected official and the Prime Minister of Kenya between 2008 and 2013.
The introduction of Devolution in 2013 in accordance with the 2010 Constitution would be Martha Karua’s first time serving in the Senate.
Makhanu wants the elections moved from August to the third week of December, and he petitioned the IEBC led by Wafula Chebukati to make the change.
He defended his plan by saying that December was the best time because it wouldn’t disrupt the country’s economy, schools, or jobs too much.
“That holding presidential election on the Second Tuesday of August affects national economic activities negatively, particularly the tourism sector because it clashes with the season for the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem.
He argued that the national economic, financial, and academic calendars would benefit by conducting presidential elections and the General Election after Jamhuri Day but before Christmas.
The election was shifted to August so that as many Kenyans as possible could register to vote in their local communities rather than having to travel upcountry, which can disrupt service delivery.
However, according to Makhanu, voter indifference in Kenya is caused by the country’s tribal voting system.
The Nairobian also wants to make the presidency rotational so that each tribe can eventually take the helm.
Better representation of minorities, he said, would be achieved if the Constitution disqualified candidates from the same tribe as the current President and the President before him. He, however, exempted the sitting President at the time of the new law’s enactment.