Kenya court overturns election result

Posted September 02, 2017

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday that he disagreed with a Supreme Court ruling that nullified his win in last month's presidential election, but that he would respect the decision and urged citizens to do the same.

"The declaration [of Kenyatta's win] is invalid, null and void", Judge David Maranga said of the latest election.

"Most of them belong in jail". The court said that President Kenyatta was not elected properly.

"These elections were shambolic", charged James Orengo, the lead lawyer for opposition leader Raila Odinga, who wants the election of Kenyatta nullified for failing to meet constitutional requirements of being free, fair, transparent and verifiable.

He said the verdict was backed by four of the six Supreme Court judges.

Instead, opposition supporters exploded in celebration. Kenyatta's father, Jomo Kenyatta, was the nation's founding president who had a long-running rivalry with Oginga Odinga, who failed like his son in efforts to secure the top job.

What did the judges say was wrong?

In a decision that surprised many observers, the court agreed with opposition arguments that the Electoral Commission had committed irregularities that invalidated the poll.

The two judges voting in opposition to the decision said the elections were free, fair, credible and watched by worldwide observers.

According to the KNCHR, 24 people died during protests that erupted following the announcement of the election results.

A rerun of the vote raises fears of a return to violence in a country with a history of combustible electoral politics.

How have the two political sides reacted?

"This is a precedent-setting ruling", he said.

"It is now clear that the entire edifice of the (election board) is rotten. Someone must take responsibility", as he demanded criminal prosecutions and an inquiry.

Kenya court overturns election result
Kenya court overturns election result

Odinga has contested the last three elections and lost each time.

However, they warned that the 60 days within which a new election must be held will bring tension and anxiety, and the restraint of leaders and credibility of the new election will be paramount. "Your neighbor will still be your neighbor regardless of whatever has happened", he said. My primary message today to every single Kenyan is peace.

He argued that there must be a victor and loser in any contest, but that the contestants are more interested in the fairness of the process than the outcome.

"We are keeping a close eye on them. We are not afraid".

Mutiga noted that the judiciary had not always been so independent in Kenya, but said that under a new constitution adopted in 2010, magistrates were more insulated from pressure tactics of the executive branch.

One week before the election, the electoral commission's chief of IT systems, Chris Msando, was found tortured and murdered.

But he ruled out resigning, saying he had not been accused of wrongdoing.

More than 400 worldwide election monitors were also deployed across the country to monitor voting, the tallying process and the post-election period.

He said his IEBC will make make internal changes to staff ahead of the fresh presidential election.

Odinga said: "It's a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of Africa". Details of the ruling will be released within 21 days.

Kenyatta had won a second term with 54% of the vote. The electoral commission declared Kenyatta the victor three days later. It is therefore no surprise that the opposition Nasa coalition is now calling for a new team to manage the next elections.

"This has shown all (election) observers did not do their job". The Court has directed IEBC to run the election.