Joho, Oparanya to continue as governors till new elections are held

Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega). They two will stay longer in office after the electoral commission suspended elections in the two counties.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) will stay longer in office than their colleagues serving second and final terms after the electoral commission suspended elections in the two counties.

The two county bosses will now hold office until new elections are held.

The Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday suspended elections in four elective areas citing wrong images of candidates and details printed on the ballot papers.

The affected areas include Kakamega and Mombasa gubernatorial seats as well as parliamentary elections in Kacheliba and Pokot South. 

Article 182 (6) states “ A person who assumes the office of county governor under this Article shall, unless otherwise removed from office under this Constitution, hold office until the newly elected county governor assumes office following the next election held under Article 180 (1).”

Governors are usually scheduled to be sworn-in on the 10th day after the declaration of the election results.

The swearing-in is conducted in a public ceremony before a High Court judge or a Chief Magistrate.

It is not clear whether by then IEBC will have declared a new date for the affected electoral areas.

“We wish to inform the country that despite the high level of preparedness, some ballot papers for four elective positions were noted to have errors. As a result elections for the respective positions have been suspended to a later date to be announced through a Gazette notice,” said IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

Swearing-in ceremonies and handing over process by the outgoing governors to the new county bosses are usually organised by respective Assumption of the Office of Governor Committees in each county.

The committee consists of the county secretary who is the chairperson, county commissioner, an officer in charge of legal matters in the county and chief officer in the department responsible for county public service.

Others are the heads of National Police Service in the county, National Intelligence Service, Clerk of the County Assembly, one County Assembly official nominated by the clerk of the County Assembly, a representative of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and a representative of the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee.

The Oath or affirmation is administered not earlier than 9am and not later than 5pm.

Mr Oparanya, on his verified twitter page, questioned the move by IEBC to suspend elections in Kakamega and Mombasa.

Ironically, governors Oparanya and Joho serve as the ODM deputy party leaders.

“I question why they had to stop gubernatorial elections in Azimio presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga’s strongholds and backyards of two key deputy party leaders. Despite the setback, I call on our supporters to turn out in large numbers tomorrow and vote for Azimio candidates and also be calm and maintain peace as the matter is being handled. They have only delayed our victory but it is still ours for the taking,” he said.

He went on “I am fearing that the move will affect voter turnout in the two counties that Raila was banking on for numbers that will propel him to victory. The announcement has caused tension in the county and can cause chaos if not handled well.”

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