Why Kenyan presidential election was annulled- S/Court

Frederick Owens
September 21, 2017

Mr Kenyatta got 54% of the vote against opposition leader Raila Odinga's 44%, according to the IEBC's results.

Providing details today about the ruling that nullified the vote earlier this month, deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu said the court accepted the opposition's claim that the electronic voting system was "infiltrated and compromised".

The court's decision on the August 8 election was hailed as historic on a continent where judges frequently bow to political will.

Kenya's election commission initially declared Kenyatta, 55, the victor by a margin of 1.4 million votes but the result was immediately challenged in court by his nearest rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Western diplomats have expressed their concern at the rising tensions in Kenya, urging politicians not to incite violence.

"Now is the time to focus on preparing for the new poll, which, in line with the court's order and the constitution, must be run by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and be held by the end of October", they said in a joint statement.

The company providing the voting system for the re-run of Kenya's presidential election says the equipment will not be ready in time, putting the planned date in jeopardy.

The electoral commission announced the victor of the presidential election even though it was missing thousands of scanned copies of forms used to compile the presidential results at the constituency, said the judgment.

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Mwilu said the IEBC refused a court order demanding it open its computer servers. "Noncompliance or failure by the board to do as ordered must be held against it".

Chief Justice David Maraga on his part said irregularities and illegalities were substantial and could not be ignored.

In Kenya's electoral system, official tally forms were to be sent from all 291 constituencies and 40,883 polling stations to the national tallying center.

"The (board) can not therefore be said to have verified the results", she said.

In response to Tuesday's demonstrations, Maraga said that he and other members of the legal body which selects judges were "prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the constitution and the rule of law".

Kenyatta says his criticism of the Chief Justice should not be viewed as an attack on Maraga's Kisii community.

Police fired tear gas at the demonstrators, some of whom brandished signs that read, "The Supreme Court stole our victory".

Police spokesman George Kinoti called the accusation "not true", saying they have provided protection to all judges at their homes and workplaces.

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