by Christine Lagat and David Musyoka
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday declared
presidential election null and void and ordered a repeat of
similar exercise within 60 days.
Chief Justice and President of Supreme Court David Maraga
said the Aug. 8 election where incumbent President Uhuru
Kenyatta was declared the winner had gross irregularities.
"The presidential elections held on Aug. 8 were not conducted
in accordance with the constitution and therefore declare them
null and void," said Maraga.
Kenyans have waited anxiously for the apex court to make a
ruling on the election petition filed by opposition National
Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, who
opposed Kenyatta’s victory saying it was flawed.
Odinga in his petition cited massive electoral practices that
included hacking of gadgets used for votes transmission as well
as use of state resources by the incumbent during the campaign.
Four judges ruled in favor of Odinga’s petition challenging
the results, while two ruled against.
Maraga said the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission
(IEBC) failed, neglected or refused to conduct election in
keeping with laws.
The ruling was described as historic by legal experts who
noted that nullification of presidential elections is a rare
occurrence in Africa.
The poll marked the fourth time 72 year-old Odinga had lost
an election, often citing irregularities. However, the Friday
ruling is the first time a court has supported his claim.
When the opposition leader disputed Kenyatta’s victory after
a similarly flawed election in 2013, the judges ruled that the
election should stand, even though results from much of the
country are not available even now.
Maraga said that he will not read the full judgment on Friday
as it would take too long and people are anticipating the
He said he will soon announce what he calls the
"determination" of the court.
During the ruling, Maraga said the court found no evidence of
misconduct on the part of the third respondent who is Kenyatta.
Two judges—Justices Jackton Ojwang’ and Lucy Ndung’u—dissented
against the majority decision. Ndung’u said the election was
conducted in accordance with constitution.
Ojwang’ said the petitioner did not have enough evidence.
The electoral body had previously declared Kenyatta the
winner after garnering 54 percent of the votes cast. Kenyatta
garnered 8.22 million against Odinga’s 6.82 million.
Odinga claimed the election was rigged in favor of Kenyatta
through hacking and manipulation of the electronic vote-counting