Kenya Supreme Court calls for fresh polls

Uhuru Kenyatta won last month’s polls[/caption] Kenya’s Supreme Court has ordered for fresh polls to be conducted within 60 days after it cited irregularities in the August 8 elections, which saw the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Announcing the 4-2 majority decision on Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga said the elections were not conducted according to law. Leader of the National Supreme Alliance (NASA) and long-time presidential challenger Raila Odinga mounted a legal challenge to the results declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The official results gave incumbent Kenyatta 54 per cent while Odinga, a former Prime Minister, had 45 per cent. Though he had previously ruled out seeking redress in court if he failed to win the polls, Odinga announced on August 16 that the NASA coalition had gathered enough evidence to show that the polls were rigged for the incumbent, who is a son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta. [caption id="attachment_60626" align="alignnone" width="563"] In 2013, the Supreme Court justices dimissed Odinga’s challenge[/caption] His legal challenge – the second time in four years – appeared to have been trifled with by the incumbent given the defiance of his strike call by his supporters after the results were declared. According to Chief Justice Maraga, the six-member panel came to the decision that the “elections were not conducted in accordance with Constitution”. During the August 8 polls, Odinga’s NASA alleged that the voting system had been hacked but their calls for a probe into the allegations were ignored. International observers – one of whom was Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama, who led the Commonwealth Mission – ticked the polls as free and fair. By the judgement, IEBC is expected to conduct fresh elections before November, 2017.

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By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana ]]>