Lungalunga MP-elect Mangale Chiforomodo has sued to challenge the constitutionality of a provision in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party agreement that restrains constituent parties from leaving the coalition until after three months from the elections.
Mr Chiforomodo, elected on a United Democratic Movement (UDM) party ticket, says the clause infringes his constitutional rights.
Through his lawyer, Prof Kithure Kindiki, he also argues that the coalition agreement curtails his freedom of association and political rights to negotiate and join a coalition until the lapse of three months after the August 9 General Election.
Mr Chiforomodo also argues that the time limit is unreasonable and unjustified.
In his petition at the High Court in Mombasa, he has sued Azimio and the Registrar of Political Parties, naming his party, UDM, as an interested party.
He wants the court to declare that the March 12 agreement is inconsistent with the Constitution and violates articles 10, 24, 36, 38 and the Political Parties Act.
“The petitioner particularly takes issue with provisions of Article 22 (2) of the coalition agreement which curtails his freedoms of association and his political rights to negotiate and join a coalition until the lapse of three months after August 2022 General Election,” the petition says.
He also argues that by limiting the withdrawal period breaches Article 36 of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of association.
He says parties and their members “who no longer wish to be in the coalition would be held in servitude of the coalition”.
This, he argues, deprives the parties of their freedom to associate with the people or parties they prefer.
“The impugned Article 22 (2) of the coalition agreement has the effect of forcefully keeping parties in a situation they no longer wish to be part of against their free will and determination,” Mr Chiforomodo says.
He also argues that the agreement was signed five months before the elections yet part of it also restricts parties from withdrawing six months before the election.
He argues that by the time the agreement was signed, the withdrawal period had lapsed and the right of withdrawal was not available to parties.
He wants the court to declare that Article 22 (2) of the agreement is unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect.