BREAKING: Kenya’s Supreme Court Upholds Ruto’s Victory in Presidential Election

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The Supreme Court of Kenya on Monday dismissed the various petitions appealing the result of the 9 August election which saw William Ruto, incumbent vice president of Kenya, emerge as the winner.

By this ruling, the court upheld the election of Mr Ruto as the next president of Kenya.

The ruling came three days after arguments were heard from lawyers representing the two main candidates and rival camps of election commissioners.

There were seven petitions with regards to the presidential election which the court consolidated into one petition as they all sought the same thing, Chief Justice Martha Koome said.

The ruling came three days after arguments were heard from lawyers representing the two main candidates and rival camps of election commissioners.

The election which was held on 9 August saw Mr Ruto emerge winner with 7,176,141 votes, 50.49 per cent of the total votes cast, to defeat his closest challenger, ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga who polled 6,942,930, 48.85 per cent of votes cast. Mr Ruto also achieved the minimum 25 per cent of votes in 39 counties.

The above results were announced by the chairman of the IEBC, Wafula Chebukati, six days after the elections.

The results were, however, rejected by Mr Odinga who challenged it in court saying the votes were manipulated in favour of Mr Ruto.

The election was highly competitive between the two men leaving the two other contenders almost out of the race.

Also, before the results were announced, four of the seven members of the electoral commission refused to authenticate the result.

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“We cannot take ownership of the result that is going to be announced because of the opaque nature of this last phase of the general election,” the BBC quoted Juliana Cherera, the vice-chairperson of the IEBC, as saying on the day the results were announced.

Issues and Verdicts

The petitioners argued that the technology deployed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) did not meet the constitutional and statutory standards.

Justice Koome said the judges were not persuaded by the allegation that the technology failed the test of integrity, verifiability, security and transparency citing various reasons including that the IEBC did not have the capacity to develop the technology, hence outsourcing the development was inevitable.

The second issue claimed there was interference with the results as uploaded to the electoral commission’s portal.

According to the chief justice, there was no evidence that anyone accessed the results transmission system to tamper with the results, hence arguments that the integrity of the public portal was compromised were disproved.

Also, petitioners claimed that election forms in the online results portal were changed from the original printed forms.

Justice Koome said there was no evidence that election forms in the online results portal were changed from the original printed forms.

In a criticism of some of the presented affidavits, she advised lawyers against presenting misleading or fabricated evidence.

In one case, she said the evidence proved to be “hot air” and sent the court on “a wild goose chase”.

Another petition claimed that the postponement of some of the elections on 9 August had an impact on Raila Odinga’s votes.

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The court said it was satisfied that the electoral commission had the power to postpone some of the elections in parts of the country which did not affect the votes of Mr Odinga.

They also alleged ballot stuffing but Justice Koome said, “not a single document has been provided by the petitioners to show that ballots were stuffed.”

Petitioners also questioned the powers of the chairperson of the electoral commission to verify, tally and declare results without consulting other commissioners.

The court ruled that the chairperson must tally results in consultation with other commissioners. However, the chairperson is responsible for announcing the results as a representative of the commission.

Justice Koome noted that the four commissioners were present at the tallying and have yet to explain why they participated in the verification process of results which they doubted.

She, however, faulted the stoicism of the commission’s chairman who did not bother to explain the disagreement.

According to Justice Koome, this showed existing malice within a body that was charged with conducting the country’s elections.

The court ruled that the rift within the commission was not enough basis to nullify the votes cast.

Another petition questioned if the constitutional 50 per cent plus one threshold needed to be declared president was met by Wiliam Ruto.

The court ruled that the petitioners did not provide a water-tight case to prove that the constitutional threshold was not met.

Premium Times

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