Courts, Disputes Tribunal ready to handle election disputes, says CJ Maraga

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Chief Justice David Maraga addressing the press on the Judiciary's Pre-Election Dispute Resolution preparedness
Chief Justice David Maraga addressing the press on the Judiciary's Pre-Election Dispute Resolution preparedness

The Judicial Service Commission has completed the recruitment of two additional members to the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT). The Tribunal which is meant to manage any disputes that arise in parties, consists of seven members, and Chief Justice David Maraga said the Judiciary has been preparing to handle any election disputes as a result, “All tiers of courts have been trained to enhance the capacity of judicial officers in handling of electoral disputes,” he said.

While addressing journalists at the Supreme Court Nairobiobi, Chief Justice Maraga said the proposed amendments targeting recruitment of more members in the PPDT haven’t yet yielded any fruits, “We proposed to parliament an amendment to the Political Parties Act 2011 to empower the Judicial Service Commission to appoint at least 15 members of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal across the country. However, the proposed amendments have not yet been passed,” he said.

He said due to this, the limited number, the Political Party Dispute Tribunal won’t be able to sit in the various court stations in the country to hear and determine the nominations disputes.

Chief Justice David Maraga and Attorney General Githu Muigai during the training of 92 gazetted magistrates to handle election offences recently
Chief Justice David Maraga and Attorney General Githu Muigai during the training of 92 gazetted magistrates to handle election offences recently

Chief Justice Maraga added that six judges of the High Court will be assigned to preside over appeals arising from decisions made by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal. He said that the courts and the Tribunal will handle election disputes well, “I assure Kenyans that the courts and the Tribunal will handle election disputes with speed, guided by timelines of the electoral process and in accordance with the law.”

His sentiments were echoed by Chairman of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal Kyalo Mbobu, who assured Kenyans that the Tribunal is ready to deliver its mandate. The Chairman added that its vital for all parties to have an internal dispute resolution structure, citing that it’s a requirement of the Political Parties Act 2011.