Kenya court calls for new presidential election amid claims of voter fraud

Terry Joseph
September 2, 2017

"Over 8 million people supported the election of Uhuru Kenyatta but the Supreme Court has ignored this in the ruling which is very shameful", said Matheri Wa Hungu.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta had been declared victor of the election which the opposition alleged was marred by irregularities.

Kenyatta said his primary message was for all Kenyans to keep the peace.

Mutiga said the ruling "means Kenya, one of the most open societies in Africa, is gradually maturing as a democracy".

"They can not. Kenyans will decide, and that is the nature of democracy". Global election observers had said they saw no interference with the vote.

Maraga said there had been "irregularities and illegalities", notably in the transmission of election results.

The poll marked the fourth time 72 year-old Odinga had lost an election, often citing irregularities.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said since the day of the elections that the Electoral Commission servers were hacked during the process, giving an advantage to Kenyatta.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has vowed not to resign because he was not "personally touched by the Supreme Court ruling".

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Another Kenyatta's lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said Odinga's petition did not meet the standard of proof needed to invalidate a presidential vote, calling it "an allegation of rumors".

Tensions have risen after the general election, prompting fears of election-related violence in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling.

Many voters in the west of Kenya - Mr 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.

"Taking the totality of the entire evidence, we are satisfied that the elections were not conducted in the accordance to the dictates of the Constitution", he said.

Other Presidential elections have been challenged in Uganda where Kizza Besigye sued the Electoral Commission and President Yoweri Museveni in 2001 and 2006.

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.

The electoral commission had pronounced President Uhuru Kenyatta as the victor of the August 8 election with 54.3 percent of the vote. "We are ready for elections but we don't have confidence" in the electoral commission.

Raila Odinga, Mr Kenyatta's opponent, said the commission was "rotten" and demanded resignations and prosecutions.

Odinga said outside the Supreme Court that this marks a historic moment for Kenyans.

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