Kenya’s Supreme Court explains why it annulled election result

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Kenya’s Supreme Court today explained why it annulled last month’s presidential election result.

Earlier this month the court annulled President Kenyatta’s victory on the grounds of irregularities and illegalities, following a petition from political opponent Raila Odinga. And now the Supreme Court has clarified the reasons behind its verdict earlier this month.

 

IEBC ‘flouted the law’

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu criticised Kenya’s electoral commission’s handling of the entire election process, suggesting it took the law into its own hands – and not for the first time.

“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) flouted the law and the constitution to the extent that they become the law themselves,” she said. “On our part, elections is not just an event but a whole process.”

The judge highlighted the commission’s failure to hold transparent elections in the past – most notably the 2007 presidential poll that descended into violence. Moreover, the IEBC failed to provide the necessary documentation to verify  Kenyatta’s victory, despite claiming to have installed a secure digital system prior to the election.

“IEBC was required to provide certificates of penetration tests on the transmission systems and also provide GPS location of KIEMS kits, which was not done,” Mwilu confirmed. “IEBC did not verify results that had been electronically and systematically transmitted from the polling stations before announcing which violated the Constitution and the law.”

“We can’t prove that Uhuru Kenyatta got majority votes,” she summed up.

 

New system, no proof

Kenya held one of Africa’s most expensive election on August 8 this year. The IEBC’s failure to hold a successful election, despite investing millions into a system designed to the voting and counting process more transparent and secure.

The Supreme Court’s ruling means Kenya will now need to hold a second election but the IEBC’s proposed October 17 date is already in doubt. The additional cost of holding a second election and the electoral commissions continued failure to prove it is capable of pulling it off a second time around is a concern. Not only for the country’s strained economy but national security in a nation that still hurts from recent history’s election violence.

 

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.