April 26, 2018

Kenya court blames electoral commission over annulled election

21 September 2017, 12:34 | Simon Arnold

Turkish military starts drill near Iraqi border

Turkish military starts drill near Iraqi border

Kenya's election commission initially declared Kenyatta, 55, the victor by a margin of 1.4 million votes but the result was immediately challenged in court by his nearest rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga.

"We will and we shall not participate in any election where it turns out to be a ritual and you end up with computer-generated leaders", said Moses Wetangula, a top official for the opposition party, National Super Alliance (NASA).

Kenyatta won a second term with 54 per cent of the vote, beating Odinga.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said the process was "like a matatu", referencing Kenya's reckless, law-defying minibuses.

The result of the election, she said, was never an issue and the same was not shown to have been affected by the alleged irregularities or illegalities.

Jubilee supporters in Nyeri town demanded the Supreme Court to order recount of votes of the presidential elections. Odinga claimed that the criticism of Maraga - who was part of the panel that nullified the election result - was an attack on his community.

In his comments, Chief Justice David Maraga said numerous constituency level forms were incomplete, often lacking required signatures or IEBC features. And, she says, the judges understand these implications.

Thousands of the forms were not made available, as legally required, by the time results were announced. "The [board] can not therefore be said to have verified the results", she noted.

The paper also reported that Mr Nguma included phone records in his petition to the JSC, which he believes proves his allegations.

Mwilu also said the IEBC announced results based on tallies documented in the Form 34Bs, totals from constituencies, without having received totals from each polling station, on forms known as 34As.

In a letter from Paris-based OT-Morpho to Kenya's election board, dated September 18 and seen by Reuters, the company said the two electronic systems it supplied for the vote would have to be reinstalled for the re-run.

While reading the detailed judgment, Maraga said, "When the rule of law ends, tyranny begins".

They ruled that IEBC failed to verify the numbers before declaring Uhuru Kenyatta the victor and Nasa proved that declaration was made before receiving all the 40,883 Forms 34As in breach of the Elections Act. Fresh elections have been scheduled for October 17, but many analysts worry that there is not enough time to prepare for it. Kenya is beset by bitter tribal rivalries, and many worry that a second election, whose results might not be accepted by the loser, is likely to exacerbate those tensions.

Demonstrations have bordered on violence and are clearly meant to intimidate the judiciary and individual judges.

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