Election of Garissa assembly Speaker challenged in court

Abdi Idle Gure

Garissa County Assembly Speaker Abdi Idle Gure on September 22, 2022. His election has been challenged at Garissa High Court.

Photo credit: Manase Otsialo I Nation Media Group

The election of Abdi Idle Gure as the Garissa County Assembly Speaker has been challenged in court by a candidate allegedly dropped by the clerk.

Ismail Arale, the petitioner, argued that his right to contest the position had been violated.

Mr Arale lost the race for the Balambala parliamentary seat in the August elections and set his eyes on the Speaker’s position, only to be disqualified.

He rushed to the Garissa High Court and filed a case under a certificate of urgency to challenge the Speaker election on Wednesday, only to serve the clerk hours after a new Speaker had been sworn in.

“I submitted all my documents and testimonials, including clearance from the IEBC …,” he said.

He added: “Unfortunately, on Tuesday evening, I saw a list of shortlisted candidates without my name and I went to the clerk’s office, only to be informed that I had been removed on technicalities because my testimonials were not attached to my CV, something that is not true at all”.

He claims he was dropped maliciously by the assembly leadership.

Malicious activity

“I want to tell everyone that this was malicious activity just to get me out of the race by unfair administrative action,” he said. 

“I have gone to court to sue the assembly clerk for removing my name from the list of competitors as I seek nullification of the elected Speaker.”

Eight candidates were shortlisted for the position.

Besides Mr Gure, the Others were Mr Abdi Ali, Mr Mohamed Abdullahi, Mr Abdiwelli Kassim, Mr Muse Dahir, Mr Ahmed Mohamed, Mr Issa Hussein and Mr Mahat Osman Ibrahim.

Only five candidates qualified for the elections, according to assembly clerk Mohamed Santur.

Mr Santur denied shortchanging any candidate, maintaining that he only applied the law on the election of a Speaker.

“Any aggrieved candidate is free to go to court. It is their constitutional right to seek redress, but from where I sit I did nothing wrong and I am ready to defend myself,” the clerk said.

Though his election was challenged, Mr Gure, pledged to lead a vibrant and meaningful discourse on the floor of the House.

“[We] are looking forward to a very bright and productive five-years period,” he said.
He called for a harmonious working relationship with the county executive for the good of Garissa residents.

“We are looking forward to a very united House that is objective and determined to achieve the mandate that the members have been entrusted with,” he said.

In the neighbouring Wajir County, Abdille Yussuf Mohammed was elected Speaker, while in Mandera Omar Mohamed Maalim carried the day unopposed.