Kenya: Supreme Court upholds Ruto’s win as President

The Supreme Court of Kenya on Monday confirmed the election of William Ruto as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya.

Reading the verdict on Monday, Chief Justice Martha Koome said Ruto garnered 50 percent plus one votes cast. 

Ruto had garnered 7.1m while Raila Odinga garnered 6.9m as declared by the IEBC.

But the petitioners claimed that Ruto had not attained 50 percent plus one votes cast.

“It is not mathematical sound and that the rounding off of IEBC was correct. The petitioners did not offer a water tight case,” Koome said.

Koome said rejected votes cannot be taken into account when calculating whether a presidential candidate attained 50%+1 of the votes cast in accordance with Article 138 (4) of the constitution.

She further said there was no evidence of discrepancies in the some of the nine issues raised by the petitioners.

On whether there was interference with uploading and transmission of forms 34A from polling stations, Koome said there was not evidence.

“There were no significant differences captured between the Forms 34A uploaded on the public portal and the physical Forms 34A delivered to Bomas that would have affected the overall outcome of the presidential election,” the CJ ruled.

On whether postponement of gubernatorial elections resulted in voter suppression to the detriment of the petitioners, Koome said they were postponed due to ‘genuine’ mistakes.

“As regarding this allegation, it has not been sworn that by postponing the elections in the named electoral units, IEBC acted in bad faith or was influenced by irrelevant and considerations,” Koome said.

“From the explanation tendered, we are satisfied that the postponement was occasioned by a genuine mistake which in our view could have been avoided had the IEBC staff been more diligent when they went to inspect the templates in Greece where the printing of ballot papers was undertaken.”

The confirmation followed an intense 14-day process in which lawyers representing Azimio’s Raila Odinga, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and President-elect William Ruto did battle.

The Supreme Court received nine petitions, of which eight challenged Ruto’s election, while one support his victory.

Chief Justice Martha Koome said they would consolidate seven petitions into one because they raised similar issues, while two were struck out.

They singled out nine key issues the petitioners wanted determined. 

The issues-questions included: Did the IEBC technology met integrity and verifiability standards? Was there interference in the transmission of Forms 34A? Was there a difference between the transmission of Forms 34A uploaded and those received?

Other questions: Did the postponement of Mombasa and Kakamega governor elections and other polls result in voter suppression? Did the president-elect get 50 per cent plus one vote of the votes cast?.

Other issues: Were there discrepancies between votes cast for president and those for other positions? Did the IEBC  tally, verify and declare results in accordance with the law? 

Where were irregularities affecting the final outcome and to what degree? What relief and orders can the Supreme Court order on the petitions?

Outdoing Deputy President Ruto was declared President-elect on August 15 by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Ruto garnered 7,176,141 votes (50.49 per cent), defeating Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga who had 6,942,930 votes, representing (48.85 per cent).

Of the 47 counties, Ruto garnered more than 25 per cent of the votes cast in 39, exceeding the minimum 24 counties required by the Constitution. Raila achieved 25 per cent of the votes cast in 34 counties.

Roots Party presidential hopeful George Wajackoyah came a distant third with 61,969 votes followed by Agano’s David Mwaure, who polled 31,987 votes.

Raila rejected the results, saying the IEBC election technology was compromised to aid rigging in favour of Ruto. 

The ODM leader claimed Venezuelans accessed IEBC servers, countless times, intercepted and manipulated poll results.

On Sunday, both Ruto and Raila who had visited Nakuru and Mt Kenya East regions committed to respected the supreme Court decision.

They called for peace.

Source: The Star

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