Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Justice Ojwang: Errors in presidential results not enough to nullify elections

Uhuru's supporters stage protest outside Supreme Court The 6 judge bench at the Supreme Court
Saul Franklin | 21 September, 2017, 00:17

The decision was reached after opposition candidate Raila Odinga had challenged the results in court, raising accusations of hacking and the making of a "computer generated leadership".

She also blamed officials at Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for announcing the results of the presidential race before votes from nearly a quarter of polling stations were in.

OT-Morpho said an internal audit of its equipment conducted after the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 presidential election found no foul play.

The ruling marked the first time in Africa that a court has nullified the re-election of a sitting leader.

President Kenyatta was named victor of the August 8 election, officially winning 54 percent of the vote.

Western diplomats have expressed their concern at the rising tensions in Kenya, urging politicians not to incite violence.

Its status as diplomatic, trade and security hub for East Africa means the court's ruling and the fresh election now scheduled for October 17 are being closely watched for any sign of instability or violence.

Kenya's highest court on Wednesday returned a damning finding against the poll body for failing to conduct the August 8 presidential elections in accordance with the constitution and vowed it would nullify any future elections which do not conform to the dictates of the law. And, she says, the judges understand these implications. "On that ground alone, we have no choice but to nullify it", said Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu on Wednesday, September 20.

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The court held that Cebukati was responsible for failure to explain why poll results were not transmitted in the prescribed manner.

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 said.

They are among the four judges who ruled for the annulment of the polls.

Police used tear gas to disperse opposition and pro-government supporters who had gathered outside the court building while the judgment was read out.

"As we have noted, out of 291 forms, 56 from that random sample, no, no, 56 did not have the watermark features, while one did not bear the serial numbers, and a further five were not signed at all", said Maraga.

Privately-owned Standard newspaper reported today that an individual named Mr Derrick Nguma has asked the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which is in charge of hiring judges, to investigate the two jurists over alleged misconduct.

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