Africa In The News

Kenyatta’s lawyer calls Kenya election annulment ‘political’

JOHANNESBURG, September 1 – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lead counsel Ahmednassir Abdulahi has called the Supreme Court’s decision to annul last month’s elections on the basis they were not conducted according to the Constitution and Elections Act “political.”
Abdulahi told the court that Kenyatta won by 1.4 million votes and called on the bench to release the full decision detailing how any irregularities could have impacted that lead, CNN reported on Friday afternoon.
Abdulahi said: “My lord, it is obvious, and I’m not afraid to say, that this is a very political decision you have made this morning, but we will live with the consequences and as you have ordered we will wait for the date the first respondent will fix so that again my client will show that the will of the people will again prevail.”

Kenya’s veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for members of Kenya’s electoral commission to be jailed after the country’s Supreme Court ruled earlier on Friday that last month’s elections be annulled on the basis they were not conducted according to the Constitution and Elections Act.
“They have committed criminal acts. Most of them actually belong in jail and therefore we are going to ask prosecution for all the electoral commission officials who have committed this monstrous crime against the people of Kenya,” Odinga said.
Earlier, the opposition candidate praised Friday’s decision by the country’s Supreme Court to annul last month’s presidential elections which saw incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta win a second term in office.
As his supporters took to the streets throughout the country to celebrate the court’s decision, Kenya made history as the first country in Africa to annul a presidential election.
“The annulment is a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension, the people of the continent of Africa,” Odinga said. “For the first time in the history of African democratisation, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a president. This is a precedent-setting ruling.
“This is a triumph for the people of Kenya.”
Announcing the verdict of four out of the six judges in his Friday morning ruling, Judge David Maraga said that “the declaration of Kenyatta’s win was invalid, null and void”.
“The election commission failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution,” added Maraga.
The court further ordered Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct fresh polls within 60 days.
According to official figures released by the IEBC on August 11, incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta secured 54.27 percent of the ballots cast, while his rival, Raila Odinga, won 44.74 percent, in the August 8 polls.
With Kenyatta receiving more than 50 percent of the votes, the contest was not forced into a second round of voting.
However, violence broke out as opposition activists cried foul in days of unrest which claimed the lives of at least 28 people.
Shortly after the election results were announced, Odinga, claimed that the electoral commission’s IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results, and took his complaints of fraud to seven Supreme Court judges amid fears among Kenyans that renewed violence would break out if he lost his attempt to overturn the election results.
It is the third time in a row that Odinga has cried foul, after claiming he was cheated out of rightful victories in 2007 and 2013.
The disputed 2007 election led to politically-motivated ethnic violence in which over 1,100 people were killed. In 2013, Odinga also took his grievances to court and lost.

 

Kenya’s veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga has praised Friday’s decision by the country’s Supreme Court to annul last month’s presidential elections which saw incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta win a second term in office.
As his supporters celebrated the court’s decision throughout the country, Kenya has made history as the first country in Africa to annul a presidential election.
“The annulment is a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension, the people of the continent of Africa,” Odinga said. “For the first time in the history of African democratisation, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a president. This is a precedent-setting ruling.
“This is a triumph for the people of Kenya.”
The court further ordered Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct fresh polls within 60 days.
The court’s decision to annul the August 8 elections, which the opposition claimed was riddled with irregularities, was based upon its conclusion that the election was not conducted according to the Constitution and Elections Act.
“The declaration of Kenyatta’s win is invalid, null and void,” said Judge David Maraga, announcing the verdict of four out of the six judges.
“The election commission failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution,” added Maraga.
According to official figures released by the IEBC on August 11, incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta secured 54.27 percent of the ballots cast, while his rival, Odinga, won 44.74 percent.
With Kenyatta receiving more than 50 percent of the votes, the contest was not forced into a second round of voting.
However, violence broke out as opposition activists cried foul.
Shortly after the election results were announced, Odinga claimed that the electoral commission’s IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results, and took his complaints of fraud to seven Supreme Court judges amid fears among Kenyans that renewed violence would break out if he lost his attempt to overturn the election results.
It is the third time in a row that Odinga has cried foul, after claiming he was cheated out of rightful victories in 2007 and 2013.
The disputed 2007 election led to politically-motivated ethnic violence in which over 1,100 people were killed. In 2013, Odinga also took his grievances to court and lost.

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday nullified the result of the August 8 presidential election, which pronounced President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner.

The historic decision means that the East African nation will have to hold a re-run election within 60 days.

The electoral commission “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the elections in accordance with the constitution,” chief justice David Maraga ruled.

The court also found that irregularities affected the integrity of the poll. Those “challenges occurred deliberately and in bad faith,” added justice Njoki Ndung’u.

The decision comes after the court granted opposition leader Raila Odinga and his coalition, National Super Alliance (NASA), access to the electoral commission’s electronic server to verify the results.

The audit was supervised by independent technology experts. Odinga and NASA had rejected the results of the polls, announced on August 11, which gave Kenyatta a second term with 54 per cent of the vote.

Odinga, who secured 44.7 per cent of the vote, said the electoral commission’s computers were hacked to generate a victory for Kenyatta.

The allegations unleashed a deadly wave of protests across the country last month, particularly in opposition strongholds in western Kenya.

The opposition says 100 people were killed, while police gave a death toll of 10 for Nairobi.

International observers from the European Union and Carter Centre, among others, had called the election credible.

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last month and called for new elections within 60 days, shocking a country that had been braced for further protests by opposition supporters.
No Kenya presidential election has ever been nullified.
“It’s a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of Africa,” said opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who had challenged the vote. “For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular election of a president. This is a precedent-setting ruling.”
The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favour of the petition filed by Odinga. He has claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favour of Kenyatta, who had won a second term with 54 percent of the vote.
“A declaration is hereby issued that the presidential election held on Aug. 8 was not conducted in accordance to the constitution and applicable law, rendering the results invalid, null and void,” Chief Justice David Maraga said.
The court did not place any blame on Kenyatta or his party.
The lead counsel for the president, Ahmednassir Abdulahi, told the court that the nullification was a “very political decision” but said they will live with the consequences.
Odinga’s lawyer had asked the court to invalidate Kenyatta’s win, saying a scrutiny of the forms used to tally the votes had anomalies that affected nearly 5 million votes.
Kenya’s electoral commission had said there was a hacking attempt but it failed. International election observers had said they saw no interference with the vote.
Odinga, a long time opposition candidate and the son of Kenya’s first vice president, had unsuccessfully challenged the results of the 2013 vote. His supporters at first had said they would not go to court again this time but filed a petition two weeks ago.
Kenya had been braced for further protests Friday as the court prepared to rule on the opposition’s challenge, with police deployed to sensitive areas of the capital, Nairobi.
Security was tight around the courthouse with armed police and barricaded streets. Human rights groups have said police killed at least 24 people in unrest that followed the Aug. 8 vote.
“This day is the D-day. We are going to know who is the president and we are very confident that the Supreme Court is going to give us our president,” said one Nairobi resident, Felix Achieng, ahead of the ruling.
Local newspaper headlines declared Friday a “Date With Destiny.” Many shops in the capital remained closed.
Unease around the election rose when the official who oversaw the electronic voting system was found tortured and killed days before the vote. But the unrest following last month’s election was far calmer than the post-election violence a decade ago that left more than 1,000 people dead.

The Latest on Kenya’s presidential election court challenge (all times local):

12:20 p.m.
Lawyers for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are calling the Supreme Court’s nullification of last month’s election a “very political decision” but they say they will live with the consequences.
Lead counsel Ahmednassir Abdulahi spoke to the court after the six-judge panel ruled 4-2 in favor of the petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga. Odinga claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta.
The court has called for new elections within 60 days.
___
12 p.m.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last month and called for new elections within 60 days.
The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favor of the petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga. He claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta. The president had won a second term with 54 percent of the vote.
The court says the Aug. 8 election was not conducted with accordance with the constitution.
Odinga’s lawyer had asked the court to invalidate Kenyatta’s win, saying a scrutiny of the forms used to tally the votes had anomalies that affected nearly 5 million votes.
___
11:55 a.m.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has overturned the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing irregularities in last month’s election. The court has called for a new election within 60 days.
Opposition candidate Raila Odinga had claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta, who won a second term with 54 percent of the vote.
Kenyans had been braced for another round of protests if the court upholds Kenyatta’s victory.
Odinga had unsuccessfully challenged the results of the 2013 vote.
___
10:45 a.m.
Kenya’s Supreme Court is expected to rule shortly on the opposition’s challenge to last month’s presidential election.
Opposition candidate Raila Odinga claims that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won a second term.
Kenyans are braced for another round of protests if the court upholds Kenyatta’s victory. Police are deployed in the capital. Human rights groups have said police killed at least 24 people in unrest that followed the Aug. 8 vote.
Kenya’s electoral commission has said there was a hacking attempt but it failed. International election observers have said they saw no interference with the vote.
Unease around the election rose when the official who oversaw the electronic voting system was found tortured and killed days before the vote.

Lawyers for Kenya’s president call court’s nullification of election ‘very political decision’

Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last month and called for new elections within 60 days, shocking a country that had been braced for further protests by opposition supporters.
No Kenya presidential election has ever been nullified.
The six-judge bench ruled Friday 4-2 in favor of the petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga. He has claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta, who had won a second term with 54 percent of the vote.
The court said the Aug. 8 election was not conducted with accordance with the constitution. The court did not place any blame on Kenyatta or his party.
Odinga’s lawyer had asked the court to invalidate Kenyatta’s win, saying a scrutiny of the forms used to tally the votes had anomalies that affected nearly 5 million votes.
Kenya’s electoral commission had said there was a hacking attempt but it failed. International election observers had said they saw no interference with the vote.
Odinga, a longtime opposition candidate and the son of Kenya’s first vice president, had unsuccessfully challenged the results of the 2013 vote.
Kenya had been braced for further protests Friday as the Supreme Court prepared to rule on the opposition’s challenge, with police deployed to sensitive areas of the capital, Nairobi.
Security was tight around the courthouse with armed police and barricaded streets. Human rights groups have said police killed at least 24 people in unrest that followed the Aug. 8 vote.
“This day is the D-day. We are going to know who is the president and we are very confident that the Supreme Court is going to give us our president,” said one Nairobi resident, Felix Achieng, ahead of the ruling.
Local newspaper headlines declared Friday a “Date With Destiny.” Many shops in the capital remained closed.
Unease around the election rose when the official who oversaw the electronic voting system was found tortured and killed days before the vote. But the unrest following last month’s election was far calmer than the post-election violence a decade ago that left more than 1,000 people dead.

Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last month and called for new elections within 60 days, shocking a country that had been braced for further protests by opposition supporters.
No Kenya presidential election has ever been nullified.
The six-judge bench ruled Friday 4-2 in favor of the petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga. He has claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta, who had won a second term with 54 percent of the vote.
The court said the Aug. 8 election was not conducted with accordance with the constitution. The court did not place any blame on Kenyatta or his party.
Odinga’s lawyer had asked the court to invalidate Kenyatta’s win, saying a scrutiny of the forms used to tally the votes had anomalies that affected nearly 5 million votes.
Kenya’s electoral commission had said there was a hacking attempt but it failed. International election observers had said they saw no interference with the vote.
Odinga, a longtime opposition candidate and the son of Kenya’s first vice president, had unsuccessfully challenged the results of the 2013 vote.
Kenya had been braced for further protests Friday as the Supreme Court prepared to rule on the opposition’s challenge, with police deployed to sensitive areas of the capital, Nairobi.
Security was tight around the courthouse with armed police and barricaded streets. Human rights groups have said police killed at least 24 people in unrest that followed the Aug. 8 vote.
“This day is the D-day. We are going to know who is the president and we are very confident that the Supreme Court is going to give us our president,” said one Nairobi resident, Felix Achieng, ahead of the ruling.
Local newspaper headlines declared Friday a “Date With Destiny.” Many shops in the capital remained closed.
Unease around the election rose when the official who oversaw the electronic voting system was found tortured and killed days before the vote. But the unrest following last month’s election was far calmer than the post-election violence a decade ago that left more than 1,000 people dead.

AP

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