Kenya election: Supreme Court affirms Ruto as presidential elect

Kenya election: Supreme Court affirms Ruto as presidential elect

 

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected challenges to the official presidential election results, upholding the victory of Deputy President William Ruto.

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The otherwise peaceful August 9 election was marred by last-minute drama when the electoral commission split and traded accusations of misconduct, according to opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who claimed there were irregularities.

Raila Odinga, the opposition candidate, had claimed irregularities in the otherwise peaceful August 9 election, which was marred by last-minute drama as the electoral commission split and traded accusations of misconduct.

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 Kenya election: Supreme Court affirms Ruto as presidential elect

The court found little or no evidence to support the various claims, labeling some as “nothing more than hot air.”

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It also questioned why the four dissenting commissioners stayed until the very end of a vote-tallying process they deemed opaque.

After Odinga filed a challenge, the court shocked Kenyans in the previous election in 2017 by annulling the results of the presidential election, a first in Africa, and ordering a new vote. He later abstained from that new election.

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In the most recent instance of shifting political alliances in East Africa’s most stable democracy, Mr. Odinga was supported this time by his former rival and outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga’s team had challenged the technology used by the electoral commission and alleged that voting results had been tampered with, and it argued that the electoral commission chair had essentially acted alone in declaring the winner.

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Mr Odinga, 77, who has been vying for the presidency for a quarter-century, has indicated that he will accept the court’s decision.

Ruto, 55, who had a bitter feud with Kenyatta after Kenyatta reached an agreement with Mr Odinga to end the 2017 election crisis, had appealed to Kenyans by portraying himself as a “hustler” from humble beginnings against the “dynasties” of Kenyatta and Odinga, whose fathers were Kenya’s first president and vice president, respectively.

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Given that Kenya’s debt levels are now close to 70% of its GDP, Mr. Ruto now faces the challenge of finding the money to support his campaign commitments to the poor.

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