The Supreme Court of Kenya began hearing arguments over challenges to the Kenya Election For Presidential on Wednesday. Raila Odinga, the defeated opposition candidate, is one of those contesting the results and claiming several issues with the electoral process.
Kenya Supreme Court verdict
Early this month, with just over 50% of the vote, Deputy President William Ruto has proclaimed the victor. By Monday night, the court must decide on each appeal. Peaceful elections were held in Kenya.
In a pre-trial hearing held in court on Tuesday, all parties confirmed the information provided in their affidavits. The court had earlier mandated a vote recount in 15 polling places, which is still going on today. The court dismissed two further petitions on the grounds that they lacked a mandate. Attorneys for Raila Odinga, who filed the first petition, spoke on Wednesday to challenge William Ruto’s election as the fifth President.
Odinga is one of those contesting the outcomes and raising several issues with the electoral process. With little more than 50% of the vote, Deputy President William Ruto has proclaimed the victor earlier this month. By Monday night, the court must decide on each appeal.
According to Kenya’s 2010 constitution, which established it “as the last arbiter and interpreter of the constitution,” the Supreme Court is the highest in the land.
Its decisions are final and enforceable. If judges nullify the results, a fresh election must be held in 60 days.
However, suppose the court sustains the verdicts. In that case, Ruto will take office as Kenya’s fifth president since the country gained independence from Britain in 1963, taking the helm of a nation grappling with high unemployment, inflation, and a severe drought.
After receiving harsh criticism for how it handled the election in August 2017, the IEBC was under intense pressure to conduct a fair poll.
In a first for Africa, the court threw out that election and mandated a new one, which Odinga boycotted. During a police onslaught on protesters, dozens of people died. Following the 2007 election, Kenya had its worst electoral violence, during which more than 1100 people lost their lives in confrontations between opposing tribes driven by politics.
A “pre-trial conference,” known in Kenya, is where the court announces the topics it will be debating.
According to an order from Kenya’s Supreme Court, the court will recount the ballots cast at 15 polling places during the presidential election on August 9. The decision was one of many made on Tuesday as the court started to hear an appeal over President-elect William Ruto’s victory.
The 15 polling locations in four counties—Kericho, Nandi, Nyandarua, and Mombasa—were the subject of a recount request from Raila Odinga and his running mate, Matha Karua.
While inhabitants of Mombasa voted primarily for Odinga, the first three counties overwhelmingly supported Ruto.
The judges mandated that the recounts be completed in 48 hours. The IEBC of Kenya was also ordered by the court to disclose the official voter lists and various election-related equipment for inspection.
William Ruto, the deputy president of Kenya, defeated the odds to win the hotly contested presidential election in East Africa’s economic superpower. His victory was razor-thin, astonishing, and incredibly contentious because four out of the seven election commission members disapproved of the outcome due to allegations of cheating.
Inside the main tallying center, there were frantic scenes. As Wafula Chebukati, the commission chair, appeared to be preparing to announce the results, and fights broke out around the podium.
Later, Mr. Chebukati returned to declare Mr. Ruto the victor with 50.5% of the vote to Raila Odinga’s 48.8%, insisting that the Kenya Election was free and fair.
According to the official results, Mr. Ruto made gains in Mr. Odinga’s strongholds. In Mount Kenya, the political stronghold of Mr. Odinga’s running mate Martha Karua and outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, he also triumphed with a resounding victory.
The second-place finisher in Kenya’s presidential election, Raila Odinga, has filed a lawsuit challenging the outcome, calling it “fraudulent.” He claims there was a deliberate attempt to change the result in a stinging 70-page legal argument. According to an impartial monitoring group, the commission’s outcome was in accordance with its own forecast. However, four of the seven electoral commissioners declined to support the decision, claiming that how the final results were calculated was “opaque.”