A row over boundaries for the new constituencies and county wards may derail the election calendar and make it impossible to have elections in December. A House committee and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have both rejected the push for new wards and constituencies from most of the 500 petitioners, who had qualms with the commission’s proposals for the 290 constituencies and 1,450 wards. (READ: Did MPs create wards for themselves?) This failure to yield to the demands, according to acting chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, Mr Njoroge Baiya, will expose the process to mass litigation and open doors for a constitutional challenge on the time limit within which the Judiciary should determine petitions over delimitation. The worry over litigation arises out of an inconsistency in law, Mr Baiya told the Nation on Sunday.
Mr Baiya said that whereas the IEBC Act — the guide for the current delimitation exercise — gave the Judiciary one month to determine all matters regarding the new constituencies and boundaries, the Constitution had allocated the same process up to three months. “If anyone goes to court and points out that inconsistency, it will disrupt the whole calendar of elections,” Mr Baiya said. “The truth is that the Constitution is supreme, and any law which is not consistent with it is null and void to the extent of the unconstitutionality”.
The Cabinet and the IEBC had all settled on December 17, 2012 — the third Monday in December — as the election date.