The OC wants to find out whether the proposed increase of nomination fees, from K1,000 to K10,000, and the security of costs of an election petition, from K5,000 to K20,000, are constitutional.
“The Commission, through the Supreme Court Reference, will ask the Court to consider the question of whether the proposed amendments to section 103 of the Constitution, and section 87 and section 209 of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections are constitutional,” the OC said in a statement.
“This is not the first time that the Ombudsman Commission has invoked its powers under section 19 of the Constitution on the increase of nomination fees.
“It did so in 1982, when Parliament increased the fee from K100 to K1,000. In that case the Supreme Court found the amendments unconstitutional. The Ombudsman Commission also challenged the increase in 1992 to K1,000 but was not successful.”
The OC wants the Supreme Court to interpret whether the amendments are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society, having proper regard for the rights and dignity of persons.
The Commission notes that the first vote required by section 14 of the constitution transpired on Feb 1, 2017. It will therefore ask the Supreme Court to restrain further deliberation on the proposed amendments until the Reference is heard and deliberated upon by the Court.
“Entities and persons who may have an interest in the outcome of the Reference are invited to file an application to join as a party,” says the OC.