Will election annulment strengthen Kenya's democracy?

Kristopher Drake
September 4, 2017

Odinga said, "For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a president".

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.

Supporters of an opposition leader Raila Odinga celebrate in Mathare slum after President Uhuru Kenyatta's election win was declared invalid by a court in Nairobi, Kenya, September 1, 2017.

The fate of the IEBC seems to be shaping up as the key battle between Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga in the rerun presidential election that needs to take place by October 31. "We have no faith in the electoral commission as now constituted".

"The Supreme court can not determine who rules this country, we will have no grand coalition and the election will be conducted by IEBC, we will not have the Opposition playing around with us over disbandment of IEBC", a tough speaking DP Ruto said. There has been widespread unrest since the 8 August election, with human rights groups claiming at least 24 people had been killed by police. In 2007, Odinga called for protests after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the victor, touching off weeks of ethnic violence that claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced roughly 600,000 people. Mr. Odinga, 72, brought the case before the Kenyan Supreme Court.

"Who even elected you?.We have a problem and we must fix it", he said. However, President Kenyatta hit out at the judges, saying "six people have decided they will go against the will of the people".

But worldwide observers did not report any interference with the vote. After each election, he has claimed the votes were rigged.

A visibly fuming Kenyan president on Saturday hit out at judges' annulment of last month's poll results, which frustrated his hopes of reelection to a second term.

But the court sided with Odinga, providing Africa with its first instance of a court invalidating a presidential incumbent's re-election.

Kenyatta, however, has said the electoral commission should not be interfered with and warned the court against taking action on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

They said more funds which would have been spent in improving the economy will be spent in the repeat presidential election.

But until the court's full ruling is released, it is unclear what the judgment is based on.

The court said the election commission "committed illegalities and irregularities" and it called for new elections within 60 days.

A lawyer for the electoral commission, Paul Muite, had argued in a submission to the court that the irregularities were not enough to overturn the result.

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