Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days.
Four out of six judges upheld a petition filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA) candidate Raila Odinga, who claimed the re-election of President Kenyatta was fraudulent.
On Friday the Court indicted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), saying it conducted the elections contrary to the dictates of the Constitution and poll laws.
The judges agreed that the electoral body messed up transmission of poll results.
“A decision is hereby issued that the elections held on August 8, were not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law. The results are therefore invalid, null and void,” Chief justice David Maraga said.
“Elections is not an event but a process. After considering the totality of the entire evidence, we are satisfied that the elections were not conducted in accordance to the dictates of the Constitution and the applicable principles.”
The ruling makes Kenya the first African country to have a presidential poll invalidated by a court.
IEBC had declared incumbent Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes. The opposition however argued that the commission’s IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results.
Following the ruling, the jubilant opposition presidential candidate Mr 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,” he said. “This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa.”
Mr Odinga added that he had “no faith at all in the electoral commission as currently constituted” and called for the prosecution of its members.
The ruling shocked many Kenyans who never expected the Court to declare null and void the re-election of Mr Kenyatta.
James Orengo who led the NASA lawyers said: “The decision is historic. The first judgement in Africa that has upset a presidential election. Supreme Court has done Kenya proud and lived up to the principle and law regarding election.”
Opposition supporters were seen celebrating outside the court building and in many other parts of the country.