Kenya's Supreme Court annuls presidential election result for irregularities, orders new vote

Kenya's Supreme Court annuls presidential election result for irregularities, orders new vote

Kenya's Supreme Court annuls presidential election result for irregularities, orders new vote

Pittela urged to calm Kenyan population after the decision on last Friday of the Supreme Court to invalidate results of the August 8 elections that gave President Uhuru Kenyatta 60 % of votes, and his opponent Raila Odinga 40%.

Kenyan opposition strongholds erupted in jubilant celebrations Friday after the Supreme Court nullified the result of last month's presidential election, won by incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta says he will respect the Supreme Court's overturning of his election victory, even though he disagrees with it.

On Friday, chief justice David Maraga cancelled the results of the August poll saying the election commission had failed to hold a legitimate election and that the results were therefore "invalid, null and void".

Kenyatta, who had been proclaimed the victor on 11 August, with 54,27 % of the vote and his main opponent Raila Odinga (44,74 %) would appear on the ballot.

Raila Odinga, the opposition leader and Kenyatta's primary opponent, has called on the court to replace members of the government-controlled election committee, which facilitated the August 8 vote.

This courageous and honest act must be applauded by all those who stand for the truth and the rule of law in the world, as also this is the first time in Africa that a court has ruled against the election win of an incumbent based on a court challenge by the opposition. Although judges are yet to release their full report, a new vote was ordered within 60 days. His lawyer said only a "third world court" would make such a decision.

However, the Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot has threatened to move to court over the decision to exclude him from the fresh presidential poll.

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The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association said it took "great exception" to Kenyatta's remarks.

In 2013, when made up of a different panel of judges, the court rejected Odinga's poll challenge, upholding Kenyatta's first-term election, but the ruling was not universally accepted.

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch Member of the EU Parliament who headed the EU Election Observation Mission, noted there were some problems with insufficient records for voters whose identification could not be verified, but said there were "no signs of centralized or localized manipulation". Did we go to the courts?

He called "for patience and understanding among all stakeholders as we work together to deliver free, fair, credible and peaceful elections".

He reiterated his call for staff and system changes at the at the commission, saying there would be no repeat election if the changes are not done.

Kenya had been braced for further protests before the ruling, with police deployed to sensitive areas of the capital, Nairobi, and streets near the court were barricaded.

Global observers, including the former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Thabo Mbeki, former South African president, have given the thumbs-up to the vote and urged any complaints to be channeled through the courts, not street protests.

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