Kenya emerges a democratic example as poll is annulled

Uhuru Kenyatta_State House

Uhuru Kenyatta_State House

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has taken note of the Judgment of Supreme Court of Kenya delivered on 1 September 2017 nullifying the result of the presidential election held on 8 August 2017 in the East African country.

The fate of the IEBC seems to be shaping up as the key battle between Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga in the rerun presidential election that needs to take place by October 31.

He had said earlier that the judges had "decided to go against the will of the people" but noted that he would respect the court ruling. A six-judge bench, by majority decision, on Friday indicted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), saying it conducted the elections contrary to the dictates of the Constitution and poll laws.

Suspicious circumstances around the election included the death of Christopher Msando, the official in charge of Kenya's electronic voting system, who was found tortured and killed days before voting began.

The vote had raised fears of major political violence - as was the case after a disputed election in 2007.

In his reaction after leaving the Supreme Court, Odinga said; "It is now clear that the entire edifice of the (election board) is rotten".

President Uhuru Kenyatta won 54 per cent of the vote in last month's election, easily surpassing the 50 per cent threshold needed to avoid a second round run-off.

Uhuru Kenyatta_State House
President Kenyatta addresses Jubilee politicians at State House. /PSCU

"If the opposition has a problem, they should ask their elected leaders to resign", said Ruto. They said they saw no interference in the vote. That will require an overhaul of the election commission, whose integrity came into question even before Friday's ruling. The vote was widely praised by global observers - including John Kerry, a former U.S. secretary of state - who called Mr Odinga to accept defeat. In 2013, Mr Odinga lost the election again.

Odinga said the electoral commission as now constituted should not be permitted to conduct the fresh election saying it was complicit in electoral fraud.

The election was annulled after the National Super Alliance (NASA), the country's opposition party, filed a petition to the court to overturn the result.

KMJA on Saturday condemned the attacks on Chief Justice David Maraga and his Supreme Court colleagues.

The Kenya Supreme Court judgment on Friday held that the election was marred by irregularities and was not according to the Constitution. Odinga's team focused on proving that the process for tallying and transmitting results was flawed - rather than proving how much of the vote was rigged. Details of the ruling will be released within 21 days.

The opposition argued that the vote had been hacked and electronically manipulated to assure a victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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