NAIROBI: Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two petitions to overturn the country’s October presidential election re-run, validating the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Celebrations erupted in ruling party strongholds, but tensions remained high in areas loyal to veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, which have been rocked by protests during the dramatic four-month election process. The ruling paves the way for Kenyatta to be sworn in on Nov 28.
“The court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited. As a consequence, the presidential election of 26 October is hereby upheld as is the election of the third respondent,” said Chief Justice David Maraga, referring to Kenyatta.
Maraga had in September annulled an August election due to “irregularities and illegalities”, a historic decision hailed across the globe as an opportunity to boost Kenyan democracy.
However, the ruling — a rare victory for Odinga — only deepened acrimony and protests that have left 52 people dead — mostly at the hands of police — since the first election.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2017