Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified the result of last month’s presidential election which according to the Independent Election Commission (IEBC), outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta had secured a second term at the poll, against historical opponent Raila Odinga (see Fides 9 August 2017).
"The declaration [of Kenyatta’s win] is invalid, null and void", said Judge David Maranga, President of the Supreme Court, announcing the verdict of four out of the six judges.
The President of the Court ruled that the Electoral Commission "ignored or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution". The Court ruled that the new presidential elections should be held within 60 days.
Raila Odinga, called the Supreme Court ruling "a triumph for the people of Kenya". Violence exploded which led to at least 28 deaths and injuries due to Kenyatta's controversial victory and was strongly criticized by the Bishops (see Fides, 21/8/2017). It is hoped now that the Court's decision will not trigger a further wave of violence.
Raila Odinga, challenged the result in the court, claiming it was rigged. Tensions escalated after Chris Msando, the commission’s IT chief, was found murdered, his body showing signs of torture, just days before the vote (see Fides 2/8/2017). IEBC, however, denied that Msando was able to find useful information in order to manipulate the vote.
Msando's wife at the end of a Mass in memory of the murdered husband had demanded justice: "Let justice be our shield and defender. Justice is of the Lord and I believe God will fight this battle for us", she said, adding that she refused to think that "Chris died in vain". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 1/9/2017)