Presidential election in Kenya: Odinga appealed to the Supreme Court

RAila Odinga filed an online appeal to the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the results of Kenya’s August 9 presidential election, which saw her lose to incumbent Vice President William Ruto.

A historic figure in the opposition supported for this election by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, Odinga had announced his intention to contest the results which he described as a “parody”. According to these results, he was ahead of Vice President William Ruto by around 230,000 votes (50.49% against 48.85%).

The appeal “has already been sent to them (to the Supreme Court) and they will see it soon,” Daniel Maanzo, who is part of Odinga’s legal team, said Monday morning.

“The physical copy must arrive before 2:00 p.m.” (11:00 GMT), the deadline for filing an appeal, he added: “We hope to have built a good case and that we will win”.

The country’s highest court has 14 days to render its decision and, in the event of the cancellation of the ballot, a new election must be held within 60 days.

On August 15, the announcement of the results by the president of the electoral commission (IEBC) gave rise to a split within this independent body in charge of organizing the poll.

Four of the seven commissioners had announced that they were rejecting the results a few minutes before their announcement, criticizing the president of the IEBC, Wafula Chebukati, for his “opaque” management and his lack of consultation.

Mr Chebukati denied the charges, saying he exercised his prerogatives in accordance with the law of the land despite “intimidation and harassment”.

Elections still contested

The August 9 elections took place peacefully, but the announcement of the results sparked brief angry protests in some strongholds of Odinga, Kisumu (west) and the capital Nairobi.

Observers fear a protracted legal dispute could plunge the country into the post-election turmoil it has experienced in the past.

Since 2002, all presidential elections in Kenya have been contested, sometimes resulting in bloody clashes.

77-year-old Raila Odinga, who was beaten in his four previous presidential bids, is familiar with these legal challenges, which he filed in 2013 and 2017.

In 2017, the Supreme Court invalidated the presidential election due to “irregularities” and ordered the holding of a new election, a first in Africa.

In 2007, an election also very close, Odinga had also, without going to court, refused the result, which had triggered the worst post-election crisis in the history of the country, with more than 1,100 dead in inter-ethnic clashes .

During the election campaign, the two big favorites in the election, William Ruto and Raila Odinga, had pledged to resolve any disputes in court rather than in the street.

After the announcement of the results, Odinga praised his supporters on Tuesday for “staying calm” while Ruto adopted a conciliatory tone and promised to “work with all the leaders”.

If the Supreme Court upholds the results, William Ruto will, at 55, become Kenya’s fifth president since independence in 1963.

22/08/2022 11:19:15 – Nairobi (AFP) – © 2022 AFP

Presidential election in Kenya: Odinga appealed to the Supreme Court