Thursday, June 30, 2022 – The High Court has dealt Deputy President William Ruto a severe blow after it ordered the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) to include a photo of his reckless running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, on the ballot papers ahead of the August polls.

Traditionally, only images of presidential and gubernatorial candidates and their party symbols appeared on the ballot papers.

However, the High Court ordered the poll agency to include photos of presidential and gubernatorial running mates on ballot papers pending the hearing and determination of the case filed by a city lawyer.

The court ruling may be counterproductive to Ruto, considering his running mate has been ruffling the feathers of Kenyans with his outrageous and reckless remarks that are most likely to scare voters. His image alone on the ballot paper is likely to do more harm to Ruto than good.

On the other hand, the inclusion of Martha Karua’s photo on the ballot paper may be a win for Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga since her choice as a running mate has been embraced by the majority of Kenyans.

In the petition filed by lawyer Mugambi Imanyara, photographs of all candidates who vie for elective seats on a joint ticket play a major role in persuading voters into voting for leaders of their choice.

Imanyara further argued that the exclusion of presidential running mates and deputy governors from the ballot papers violates article 10 on national values and principles of democracy, good governance, accountability, participation, and transparency and is also contrary to Regulation 68(4)(b) of the Elections Regulations 2012.

This will be the first time deputies’ images will be on the ballot paper under the 2010 Constitution, should the Wafula Chebukati-led commission comply with the orders.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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