Kenyan petitioners file court bid against Kenyatta victory

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A Kenyan politician and two activists have launched petitions at the Supreme Court seeking the annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last month’s election re-run.

Kenyatta won the election with a 98.3 percent majority after his only rival Raila Odinga pulled out of the race. However, two separate petitions have been filed against the verdict, which means the Supreme Court could potentially annul the result of a second presidential election in the space of four months.

Petitions filed against election result

Former lawmaker Harun Mwau has filed a petition contesting the result of Kenya’s election repeat, the Supreme Court confirmed. Activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa have also filed their own separate petition seeking to annul Kenyatta’s victory. The Supreme Court will now rule on the petitions within 14 days, prolonging the doubt surrounding Kenya’s election troubles.

“The fresh election was not transparent and was further marred by illegalities and irregularities,” says the petition submitted by Mue and Khalifa. “Given the prevailing conditions and circumstances, the IEBC could not and should not have proceeded with the conduct of the fresh election.”

Ongoing doubt

The petitions raise the possibility that Uhuru Kenyatta could see another election victory annulled before the end of the month. Kenya’s first election attempt in August was overturned after a successful appeal by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

However, Odinga pulled out of the country’s second election attempt after the electoral commission refused to replace officials implicated in the “irregularities and illegalities” of the first election.

The build-up to Kenya’s repeat was shrouded in doubt due to technical issues and security concerns. The country’s economy has been hurt by the ongoing political dispute and the re-run was marred by violence in parts of the country. Turnout for the election repeat plummetted to 38.8 percent, down from 79 percent in the initial poll.

As many as 80 people are believed to have been killed in election-related violence since the Augst vote.

Featured image: “Kenya Election Posters” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama https://flickr.com/photos/121483302@N02/14483736320 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.