In an unprecedented move, the supreme court in Kenya has unequivocally nullified the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ordered a new presidential election within 60 days. The verdict of the supreme court means that the newly re-elected incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta who was declared the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes, will have to step aside, pending the outcome of the fresh pool.
Delivering its judgment on Friday, a six-judge bench, by majority decision, intimated that the electoral commission failed to conduct the 8 August elections in a fair manner, in accordance with the Constitution and Elections Act of the country. The bold verdict of the court makes Kenya the first country in Africa to have its presidential election nullified by the court.
The presidential opponent of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga (72), who has unsuccessfully contested in three presidential elections, has successfully argued that the last presidential election was frauded because the election commission’s IT system had allegedly been hacked and the results manipulated.
The judgment is a major victory for the Mr. Odinga, whom some have accused of not being a good loser after the international election monitors from the USA, EU and the African Union declared that the 8 August Presidential election went smoothly without major fraud and asked Mr. Odinga to accept defeat. With the Supreme court verdict, some doubt the credibility of the international monitors.
Raila Odinga’s rejection of the election result sparked off violence on the streets, which led to the death of more than 28 innocent people. Now that the apex court in Kenya has overturned the election result, Kenyan must be proud of their legal system and applaud their courage to find the solution to their election grievances through the court rather than taking the laws into their hands. Following the Supreme court judgment, one hopes all parties in Kenya will respect the law of the land and go back to the election ring for the next battle.
Definitely, the whole world will be watching – and indeed applauding – Kenyans, as they have chosen the legal path to sort out their political differences rather than through violence and annihilation. Kenya needs your prayers and support.