Friday, 1 September 2017

Kenyan Supreme Court declares presidential election null & void, orders re-run within 60days

Kenya's Supreme Court has declared President Uhuru Kenyatta's election win invalid due to "irregularities committed by the election board" and ordered a new vote.

The decision to cancel the vote result, the first of its kind in Kenya's history, sets up a new race for the presidency between Kenyatta and veteran opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected Kenyan President in August Credit: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
Overturning Kenyatta's re-election, a panel of judges ordered a re-run of the vote within 60 days.

The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favor of the petition filed by Odinga, who had claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta. The president had won a second term with 54 percent of the vote.

"The declaration (of Kenyatta's win) is invalid, null and void," said Judge David Maranga, announcing the verdict backed by four out of the six judges.

"The first respondent (the election board) failed neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution."

Many voters in the west of Kenya, Odinga's stronghold, and along the coast, where there is also traditionally large support for the opposition, feel neglected by the central government and shut out of power.

Security was tight around the courthouse with armed police and barricaded streets.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga smiles and waves to a crowd of his supporters as he leaves the Supreme Court in downtown Nairobi Credit: Ben Curtis/AP
Outside court, Odinga hailed the court decision as "historic" and "precedent-setting".

"This is a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa," he said, adding it was the first time a presidential result had been overturned in Africa.

"We are ready for elections but we don't have confidence in the electoral commission", he added. "Those commissioners must go."

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