Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Kenya faces tricky path after 'historic' ruling

High Court Hears Closing Arguments In Challenge to Kenyan President's Re-Election Kenyan supreme court annuls Uhuru Kenyatta election victory
Garry Little | 02 September, 2017, 00:12

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

The president is calling on Kenyans repeatedly to remain peaceful in a country where some elections have been followed by deadly violence. At the time Odinga said that Kenyans "refuse to sit and watch the Jubilee [rival political party that won in the election] turn our country into Banana Republic".

"They (police) came to beat and shoot at us when we protested the election results, but now the truth is out", said Jackson Oduor in Kisumu.

Kenya's constitution says fresh elections now must be held in 60 days.

He said the decision of the court, which annuls the results of that country's August 8 presidential polls, serves as a shining example to other African countries.

Odinga, speaking after the ruling, called it "a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of Africa". In 1997, former President Mwai Kibaki challenged the election of President Daniel Arap Moi in court and the case was thrown away by court simply because the former never served the latter with petition papers.

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

Around 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 displaced due to violence after Odinga lost an election in 2007 against Mwai Kibaki, according to Reuters.

For his part, Kenyatta pledged to respect the court's decision and head to the new polls with the same agenda. In Nairobi's sprawling Kibera slum, where six had died in clashes following the election, residents poured out of their homes and danced holding Odinga posters.

In court, Odinga's lawyers said the irregularities affected five million votes. That shows Kenyatta's win was legitimate, he said. Majority actually belong in jail.

The lead counsel for the president, Ahmednassir Abdulahi, told the court that the nullification was a "very political decision" but said they will live with the consequences. He said the forms also were not signed, as required to ensure accountability.

In addition, the registrar's report found that the electoral commission failed to provide full court-ordered access to its servers, which NASA had demanded in order to back up its allegations of hacking.

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