Kenya on edge as Supreme Court prepares election ruling

Posted September 02, 2017

Kenya's Supreme Court on Friday declared the August 8 presidential election null and void and ordered a repeat of similar exercise within 60 days.

With this annulment, Kenya becomes the first country in Africa to annul a presidential election.

Four out of six justices agreed with the opposition petition.

He observed that the various vies from the Supreme Court Judges was a clear indication that the Judiciary respects the rule of law. "I am very sure that when that day comes, we will [defeat] the opposition", said Mr Mutembei.

Molo MP Kuria Kimani said the decision is "victory delayed" since the same people who voted for President Kenyatta will vote for him again.

Kenyatta said he respected the ruling and called on Kenyans to respond to the decision peacefully, but he also criticized the judges, saying "six people have decided that they will go against the will of the people". "The court did not question the number of votes garnered by the President but transmission", said Mr Ndirangu.

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Kenya's electoral institutions must now begin preparing for a new presidential poll later this year, the envoys pointed out, urging everyone to work to make it free, fair, credible, and peaceful.

Kenyan shares tumbled and the currency dropped after the court ruling, reflecting perceptions that prolonged elections will mean continued uncertainty, said Razia Khan, chief Africa economist at Standard Chartered Plc in London.

The court's decision does not quell fears of the violence that has dogged Kenya's elections.

President Kenyatta's lead counsel Ahmednassir Abdulahi said in court that his client wanted to see the full judgement to understand how the alleged irregularities would "obliterate" his 1.4 million vote winning margin.

However, they warned that the 60 days within which a new election must be held will bring tension and anxiety, and the restraint of leaders and credibility of the new election will be paramount.

People will be watching for the reaction of former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was the head of the mission for US NGO, the Carter Centre, whose positive assessment of the election was used in court.

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As news of the court's decision spread, cheers and celebrations could be heard on the streets in parts of the capital, Nairobi.

This is also a setback for the worldwide, and some local, election observers, who profusely praised the election as free, fair and credible.

Three of Kenya's presidents since independence from Britain in 1963 have been Kikuyu and one has been from the Kalenjin tribe.

Kenya's $2 billion sovereign bond maturing in 2024 fell 1.33 cents, according to Tradeweb data, its lowest since mid-August.

"The commission invited the office of the director of public prosecutions to urgently investigate and prosecute any of our staff that may have been involved in violations of the election offenses act", he said.

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