The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed two consolidated petitions against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, dealing a major blow to NASA leader’s push for another presidential election.
Six judges, who quashed the August 8 poll on September 1 after citing “irregularities and illegalities”, today upheld the October 26 repeat election which has been criticsed by the opposition and other observers as a sham. In the election boycotted by Raila after IEBC failed to reform its operations, Uhuru garnered 7.4 million votes, way ahead small contenders.
In a summary judgement read by Chief Justice David Maraga, the judges said the two petitions, filed by former assistant minister Harun Mwau and another by Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, had no merited.
Judge Maraga said a detailed decision would be issued within 22 days. Dismissal of the two cases now paves way for Mr Kenyatta’s swearing-in for the second term on Tuesday next week.
While Mr Kenyatta’s arch-rival Raila Odinga did not challenge his win in court, the apex court’s decision leaves him in a tight situation amid mounting pressure from his supporters. Mr Odinga, leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa), has vowed not to recognise Mr Kenyatta’s victory and has embarked on an elaborate campaign for “electoral justice”.
Upon his return from 10-day US trip, which was marred by death and chaos, Mr Odinga announced the launch of what he termed “The Third Liberation.”
Jubilee leaders and lawyers who attended the short session left the Supreme Court and headed to Consolata Shrines for prayers.
The court decision was received with joy and celebration in Mr Kenyatta’s strongholds in central Kenya and the capital Nairobi. Conversely, the judgement sparked violent demonstrations in Mr Odinga’s strongholds of Nyanza and Nairobi slums, with cars being torched in Kisumu.
Jubilee leaders praised the court’s judgment, with Majority Leader Aden Duale saying it had paved the way for President Kenyatta’s swearing-in. Mr Duale asked President Kenyatta to form an inclusive government and develop the country equally. (Additional reporting by Daily Nation)