A Nakuru resident has moved to court seeking the introduction of the “none of the above” option on ballot papers.
The petitioner, Boniface Mwai, filed the case at the Nakuru High Court on Friday, November 12.
The additional option, Mwai argues, would give Kenyans the freedom to express their disapproval of candidates on the ballot.
“That option (none of the above) allows voters who do not have confidence in the listed candidates to exercise their democratic right by indicating that none of the aspirants has won them over,” he said.
Mwai wants the court to order the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to introduce the option, starting with the August 9, 2022, General Election.
Mwai’s petition comes weeks after politicians renewed the push to have nicknames on ballot papers as the polls draw closer.
In a Bill re-introduced in the Senate last month, Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina wants the Election Act amended to allow IEBC to include a candidate’s popular name on the ballot.
“The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Elections Act, No.24 of 2011 to allow a candidate to be presented to the electorate on party primary or election ballot papers in the way in which the candidate has chosen to familiarize himself to the electorate,” the bill reads.
The Senate republished the Election (Amendment) Bill, 2021, after it was pulled down in 2019 to allow for concurrence between the Speaker of the Senate Ken Lusaka and National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi.
The changes could take effect in the next polls If the law is passed and assented by President Uhuru Kenyatta in good time.