Kenyan presidential election results nullified by court

Kenyan presidential election results nullified by court

Kenya's Supreme Court has overturned President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election win and has called for a new election within 60 days.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared Kenyatta the victor last month by a margin of more than 1.4 million votes, with around 19 million eligible voters.

The courageous move by the supreme court to overturn the result of the August 8 election - which was passed by four judges to two - has little precedent in recent history in Africa, where judiciaries are usually appointed by the ruling regime and toe the line when it comes to decisions such as this.

Instead it said the election commission "committed illegalities and irregularities" in the transmission of results.

Chief Justice Maraga was equally emphatic in stating that "President Uhuru Kenyatta was not validly elected on August 8".

Kenyatta's main challenger, Raila Odinga, hailed the decision as a "precedent-setting ruling".

Odinga said: "It's a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of Africa".

Odinga has called for the election commission to resign and for some officials to face criminal prosecution.

The ruling contradicts reports issued by most election observers, both local and worldwide, including the former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who commended the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for running a fairly credible election.

"So I think even from where he stands, if indeed he won, he should be happy because this is an opportunity to show the other side that "indeed, I beat you".

He went on: "Look me in the eye and see that me being desirous of people living in peace does not in any mean I am coward".

A new election be conducted within the next 60 days.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to "fix" the country's judiciary, following the Supreme Court annulment of his election victory.

However, violence broke out as opposition activists cried foul in days of unrest which claimed the lives of at least 28 people.

"The Court's independent review has demonstrated Kenya's resilient democracy and commitment to the rule of law", the heads of mission stated. As a Supreme Court, they can not annul the wishes of the people.

As his supporters took to the streets throughout the country to celebrate the court's decision, Kenya made history as the first country in Africa to annul a presidential election.

The court's decision also raised questions for worldwide monitors, who had declared the election fair. "Maraga should know that he is now dealing with the serving president", Mr Kenyatta said.

Many voters in the west of Kenya - Mr Odinga's stronghold - and along the coast where there is also traditionally large support for the Opposition, feel neglected by the central government and shut out of power.

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