Kenya

Diplomats in Kenya Hail Democracy in Historic Court Ruling

Heads of Mission in Kenya have in a joint statement said the Supreme Court ruling nullifying the presidential election “has demonstrated Kenya’s resilient democracy and commitment to the rule of law.”

The statement by two dozen heads of diplomatic missions includes among others Sweden, Canada, Ireland, Britain, the European Union, France and Germany.

Chief Justice David Maraga ruled Friday the recently-concluded election was “not conducted in accordance with the Constitution.”

The court said the election commission “committed illegalities and irregularities” and it called for new elections within 60 days.

Regarding that, the diplomats commended Kenyans for showing “patience and confidence as the legal case ran its course.”

They further urged everyone to work to make the forthcoming re-election “free, fair, credible, and peaceful”.

The joint diplomatic statement also states that “all electoral processes can be improved, and we will continue to support Kenya’s institutions in this important work.”

Diplomats had previously congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta on his election win.

Raila Odinga’s case

Raila recently went to court to challenge the outcome of the election, citing massive irregularities including electronic rigging.

IEBC was accused of illegally releasing unverified results to create the expectation of an Uhuru Kenyatta victory.

Raila also questioned what he called the bizarre phenomenon of Uhuru Kenyatta’s “lead” staying at around a consistent 11 per cent throughout the release of the “results”.

Raila said such a fixed margin has never been maintained throughout any democratic election anywhere in the world.

“But it happened here because an algorithm had been introduced to rig the outcome. It happened in full view of all our people and all the election observers,” said Raila as his coalition went to the Supreme Court.

He also challenged the facts that IEBC announced that Uhuru had been elected president, even though the commission continued to acknowledge that only about 29,000 of the 41,000 verified Forms 34As had been tallied.

The Chief Justice read the majority ruling of 5 judges and two dissenting opinions by Justices Njoki Ndung’u and Jackton Ojwang.

The Chief Justice said court was “satisfied that there were irregularities that affected the outcome of the election.”

He further stated that IEBC “failed to conduct the election in the manner stipulated in the Constitution.”

The move is a big blow to Kenya’s most powerful family and could tilt the balance of power in favour of the opposition.

 

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