Saturday 24 August 2019

Kenya's top court upholds Kenyatta's win in repeat election

Kenyan Supreme Court Chief Justice David Maraga presides during the judgment (AP/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Kenyan Supreme Court Chief Justice David Maraga presides during the judgment (AP/Sayyid Abdul Azim)

Kenya's Supreme Court on Monday upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election in a repeat vote that the opposition boycotted while saying electoral reforms had not been made.

The decision appeared to put an end to a months-long political drama never seen in Africa that has left dozens dead.

The court dismissed challenges by human rights activists and a politician who argued that last month's election was not conducted according to the law.

The court in September nullified the August presidential election over irregularities and ordered a new vote held last month.

It was the first time a court in Africa has overturned a presidential election.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose legal challenge led to the nullification, then boycotted the repeat election and rejected Mr Kenyatta's overwhelming win.

In some opposition strongholds, the repeat vote could not be carried out amid unrest.

Mr Odinga is now asking for international intervention as violent protests continue. Kenya "was being pushed to the precipice", he said Sunday.

Dozens of people have been killed in clashes since the August vote, which kicked off months of uncertainty in East Africa's economic hub.

With this weekend's death toll nearly 100 people have died in the political unrest, the majority opposition demonstrators shot by police during protests.

There had been concerns about intimidation of the justices, who failed to muster a quorum to decide on a last-minute petition that sought to postpone last month's election.

One justice's bodyguard was shot and seriously wounded hours before the expected judgment.


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