Kenya's Supreme Court declares presidential vote invalid

04 September, 2017, 14:17 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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NAIROBI-The Kenyan Supreme Court has moved to annul last month's elections in which incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, was declared the victor with a margin of 1.4 million votes by the electoral commission. "For the first time in history of African democratization a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the irregular election of a President".

According to the results announced by the electoral commission before they were nullified, Kenyatta had been declared the victor with 54 percent of the votes.

Odinga was jubilant. "This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa", he said. The court on Friday said the electoral commission had committed irregularities in the vote and called for a new election within 60 days.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to "fix" the country's judiciary, following the Supreme Court annulment of his election victory.

Announcing the verdict of four out of the six judges in his Friday morning ruling, Judge David Maraga said that "the declaration of Kenyatta's win was invalid, null and void".

#Raila Odinga and his team are ecstatic, people in Kisumu his hometown and one of his strongholds and also in Mombasa were seen celebrating, hundreds on the streets, dancing, and chanting Raila slogans. Kenya's police are still investigating at least 28 election-related deaths.

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A rerun of the vote raises fears of a return to violence in a country with a history of combustible electoral politics. Meanwhile, Odinga hailed the judgment as historic. "We will not divide the loaf", he said, a local reference to power.

He referred to Justice Maraga and his fellow judges as wakora (crooks in Swahili), saying they had "decided to cancel the election".

They say that if it will be hard to choose and collect viable replacements for these heads to conduct these new elections, they suggested the United Nations conducting these new elections.

But he also expressed concern over the integrity of election officials, calling for some to be prosecuted, and said it was "unimaginable" a new poll could be conducted in just two months.

The Kenya Supreme Court said those results are no longer valid.

They said more funds which would have been spent in improving the economy will be spent in the repeat presidential election.

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Odinga, 72, was named Prime Minister and Kenyatta his deputy in a coalition government in 2008 February following the disputed presidential election of Dec 27, 2007.

The justices did not explain their decision but promised to issue their reasoning within 21 days.

Kenya's electoral commission said it would change personnel and processes to prepare for a new presidential vote.

He said that the decision of 45 million Kenyans can not be annulled by six people, referring to the Supreme Court judges.

In a statement he read out on behalf of the Judicial Service Commission less than a week before the election, he listed instances in which politicians - from the ruling party and the opposition - had tried to intervene with the judiciary's work.

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