After directing the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) to place a picture of his careless running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, on the ballot papers ahead of the August elections, the High Court delivered Deputy President William Ruto a heavy blow.
Historically, the only things that appeared on the ballot papers were pictures of the presidential and gubernatorial candidates and their party logos.
However, the High Court mandated that the polling organization print images of the candidates’ running mates on ballots while the case brought by a municipal attorney is heard and decided.
Given that his running mate has been upsetting Kenyans with his outlandish and careless remarks that are most likely to terrify voters, the court decision may be counterproductive for Ruto. Ruto is expected to suffer more negative effects from his being on the ballot than positive ones.
On the other hand, as the majority of Kenyans supported her selection as a running mate, the placement of Martha Karua’s picture on the ballot paper may be viewed as a victory for Raila Odinga, the Azimio presidential candidate.
According to a petition submitted by attorney Mugambi Imanyara, images of every candidate running for political office on the same ticket are a crucial factor in convincing voters to support the candidates they choose.
Imanyara added that the exclusion of vice presidential candidates and deputy governors from the ballots violates both Article 10’s tenets of national values and principles of democracy, good governance, accountability, participation, and transparency and Regulation 68(4)(b) of the Elections Regulations 2012, both of which are applicable to this election.
If the Wafula Chebukati-led commission follows the directives, this will be the first election when the images of deputies appear on the ballot paper under the 2010 Constitution.