Kenya: Supreme court orders fresh elections to be held in 60 days

Saturday, 02 Sep, 2017

The Kenyan Supreme Court has overturned the results of the August 8th Presidential elections, nullifying the win of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Chief Justice David Maraga said a majority decision by the panel of six judges, with two dissenting, found that President Uhuru Kenyatta "was not validly elected", rendering the result "invalid, null and void".

Kenya's electoral commission says it will change personnel and processes to prepare for a new presidential vote after the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election. But the opposition argued that the commission's IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results.

The result of the August 8th Presidential elections in Kenya has been annulled by the Supreme Court in Nairobi. However, although the judges in both cases agreed there were irregularities in the conduct of the elections, they ruled that the irregularities did not affect the outcome in a substantial manner.

"The nullification will lead to high turn out during the repeat election".

Opposition leader Odinga was jubilant as he welcomed what he called a "precedent-setting ruling" by the court.

"No, I am not resigning, as of now I listened to the Supreme Court Judges and didn't hear anything about the chairman..." "Today is a special today and I will celebrate until I am worn out", said 32-year-old Kevin Ouma.

Kenyatta's lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi criticised the court's decision as "very political", but said they would "live with the consequences".

It said these issues would be elaborated on in the detailed judgment of the court, which is to be published within 21 days. Many Kenyan observers have already expressed some concern about how people will react to this ruling because of the violence that the country has experienced in the past over disputed elections.

The court's decision does not quell fears of the violence that has dogged Kenya's elections. A fresh election will now be held within 60 days. the ruling brought instant jubilation in opposition strongholds in Nairobi. More than 1,000 people were killed in months of bloodshed after Odinga - defeated by then-President Mwai Kibaki - claimed the vote was rigged. "They have stolen the election for long", said fishmonger Lynette Akello. "Let us be people of peace", he said in a speech.

The previous commission had been tarnished by a corruption scandal and its handling of flawed 2013 elections, which saw a series of high-tech safeguards failing on election day.

Kenyatta, whose Kikuyu tribe has produced three out of Kenya's four presidents, has his main support base in the central region.

Residents who spoke to Nation said they were happy with the decision and some even demanded a repeat of the entire six elections.