Uhuru-Spirit News

KENYA’S PRESIDENT CALLS ‘COUP’ SUPREME COURT RULING ON ELECTION

September 21, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto on September 1 during a press briefing



Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has repeated his criticism of the country’s Supreme Court regarding a ruling to annul the results of the August 8 presidential election, saying the decision amounted to a coup against the will of people in the country.

Kenyatta said in a live, televised speech on Thursday that he would respect the Supreme Court’s September 1 ruling, which invalidated some 1.4 million votes he gained in the race against opposition leader Raila Odinga, adding ,however, that the decision was against the will of the Kenyan people.

“A coup in Kenya has just been done by the four people in the Supreme Court,” said Kenyatta, adding, “We have reversed everything in this country by the decision of a few people. I don’t know how history will judge these gentlemen.”

The Kenyan president criticized the court for emphasizing the processes in the elections that were deemed flawed rather than taking into account the number of votes that secured his victory.

“The citizen has been told he does not have a voice ... If that is not dictatorship, then I don’t know what to say,” Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta won a second term by a low margin in last month’s election.

“Not every irregularity, not every infraction of the law is enough to nullify an election. Were it so, there would not be any election in this country, or even the world, that would withstand judicial scrutiny,” said Chief Justice David Maraga.

But, he said, “these discrepancies were widespread ... the election did not meet the simple test ... we are unable to validate the result.”

“(From a random sample) out 291 forms, 56 had no watermarks features while 31 did not bear serial numbers and a further 5 were not signed at all and 2 were only stamped by returning officers but not signed, in addition a further 32 forms were not signed by agents. The above indices put accountability of forms in question,” the court disclosed.

Judge Philomena Mwilu said the forms should have been quickly available for inspection, noting officials said thousands of forms from polling stations were still unavailable four days after the official results were announced.

“The (board) cannot therefore be said to have verified the results,” she said. “It is an inexcusable contravention ... of the election act.”

She also censured the board’s refusal to comply with court orders to open its computer servers, saying it meant that opposition claims of hacking or manipulation could be true.

“Noncompliance or failure by the board to do as ordered must be held against it,” she said.

On September 1, the court ordered a re-run within 60 days. Authorities have declared October 17 for the re-run. On Thursday, the election body shifted the date to October 26.

Odinga’s claims of rigging after defeat in the 2007 election prompted rioting. About 1,200 people were killed in the violence that followed.

Meanwhile, Odinga has threatened that he would boycott the fresh vote unless certain people were fired from the election board, among other demands.

- with PTV



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