Published On: Fri, Sep 1st, 2017

Kenya court cancels presidential election result

 

Kenyan Supreme Court judges arrive for a hearing of a petition challenging the election result filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition and Human Rights groups at the Supreme Court in Nairobi, Kenya August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

DW – Marking a major setback for Kenya’s president, the country’s Supreme Court has accused the electoral board of committing “irregularities and illegalities” during the election. Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday annulled the presidential election result, saying the electoral board committed “irregularities and illegalities.” The electoral commission pronounced President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the August 8 election.

“The presidential election held on August 8 was not conducted in accordance with the constitution,” said Judge David Maranga, announcing the verdict of four out of the court’s six judges. The electoral board “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the elections in accordance with the constitution,” Maranga added.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Kenyatta’s challenger during the presidential election, rejected the initial result in the wake of the vote, prompting violent protests that left at least 16 people dead and dozens more injured. New elections must take place within 60 days, according to the ruling. Odinga and his National Super Alliance, a coalition of opposition groups, were given access to the electoral commission’s electronic server to verify the result of the election.

Supervised by independent technology experts, Odinga claimed to have discovered that the electoral commission’s computers were manipulated to hand Kenyatta the victory. “This is a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa,” said Odinga after the court’s announcement. “We are ready for elections but we don’t have confidence” in the electoral commission.

The Supreme Court’s ruling marked the first time a presidential result had been overturned in Kenya.

Tensions have risen after the general election, prompting fears of election-related violence in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Both Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have been dogged before by political violence that erupted after the 2007 polls and left 1,100 people dead.

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