On Monday, veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga of Kenya filed a petition with the Supreme Court against the results of the presidential elections held on August 9 by the head of the nation’s Kenya electoral body and won by his closest rival, current Deputy President William Ruto.
This election was Odinga’s fifth attempt at the president; he has been accused of manipulating several earlier defeats. These conflicts led to violence that resulted in over 1,200 fatalities in 2007 and over 100 fatalities ten years later.
Odinga boycotted the rerun after the Supreme Court annulled the election results in 2017 and mandated it because he lacked confidence in the electoral commission.
- The two claimed in their appeal that the final findings announced by Chebukati were incomplete and that there were significant differences between results obtained using physical forms and computerized kits.
- Moreover, Chebukati refused to disclose and distribute the final presidential results with the chief agents of the candidates, observers, the media, and some members of the electoral agency.
- According to Odinga, there were discrepancies in the voter turnout recorded by the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits and those recorded manually.
- He claimed that the digital kits recorded 14.45 million voters or 65.4 percent of the total number of registered voters. However, 14.2 million voters were counted in the final results as documented on the recorded forms.
- Except for manually recorded votes, Odinga and his associates claimed that the IEBC could not account for more than 250,000 votes cast during the election.
- Odinga said in a statement released in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that there was a difference of 140,028 votes between the total number of votes as recorded in Form 34C (manual) and the total number of votes recognized in KIEMS kits.
- The votes reported in Forms 34A and the IEBC portal differ from those supplied to agents, those recorded in hard copies in 42 polling stations, and in one case, his votes were decreased by 100 in each polling station.
- Odinga claimed that Chebukati did not total and confirm all ballots before announcing the final results. This action caused a rift within the electoral commission, with four commissioners publicly disowning Chebukati’s results.
- When he announced the final presidential election results, Chebukati, according to Odinga, had not totaled and verified the results from 27 constituencies. Ruto had not met the legal requirement of 50 percent plus one vote cast.
- The petitioners argue and will demonstrate that the irregularities and mistakes in the 2022 presidential election were not mere administrative blunders or caused by human error.
The Courts judgment
The court has not yet taken any decisions regarding this issue. But soon, the Supreme Court will hear the petition and decide within 14 days after the filing date. Judges of the Supreme Court has the option of confirming Ruto’s victory, ordering a recount, or declaring the election invalid and calling for a new presidential election within 60 days.