Kenyan Supreme Court Upholds October Election Results

Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld the October election victory of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta who won just over 98 percent of the vote. The election was boycotted by the opposition.

Turnout for the poll was just under 39 percent of the 19.6 million registered voters, according to the head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who dropped out of the presidential re-run, had called on his supporters to boycott the vote, and protesters blocked polling stations from opening in some opposition strongholds. Odinga said the election was a sham.

The October vote was a re-run of the August presidential election. Kenyatta was declared the winner of that vote, but the results were thrown out by the Supreme Court because of irregularities in the transmission of results.

It was the first time a court in Africa had overturned a presidential election result. Three petitions had been filed with the high court challenging the October vote. All of them were dismissed Monday.

Former lawmaker Harun Mwau filed a petition against the IEBC, as well as its chairman and President Kenyatta. Mwau challenged the validity of the October 26 re-run presidential election, which he argues was held in violation of Supreme Court directions, the Constitution and relevant electoral laws.

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The Institute for Democratic Governance, an NGO, filed one against several officials in the opposition NASA coalition, including leader Odinga, for engaging in what it called a “carefully choreographed scheme to derail, undermine and subvert the fresh election as announced by the Supreme Court.”

The IDG also accused the opposition of setting unreasonable demands for the electoral commission to meet.

In addition, Khelef Khalifa, chairman of the group Mombasa-based Muslims for Human Rights, filed a petition against the IEBC and its chairman, as well as Kenyatta and the NASA coalition.

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