Justice Ojwang: Errors in presidential results not enough to nullify elections

Violet Powell
September 21, 2017

Odinga's NASA party announced at a news conference Wednesday that it will not participate in the October 17 election without major changes to the IEBC.

On Tuesday, Kenyatta said the election "must be done within 60 days" in accordance with the constitution, adding that it should be conducted by Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Analysts say bickering on all sides and confusion over the process have only increased as the clock ticks down to the fresh vote which was called after the Supreme Court annulled the initial election.

The court's decision on the August 8 election was hailed as historic on a continent where judges frequently bow to political will.

A non-governmental organization on Monday filed two petitions claiming judges had improper contact with lawyers for opposition leader Raila Odinga during his court challenge of Kenyatta's win.

The heads of western diplomatic missions in Kenya, including those of the European Union, the United States and Britain, urged Kenyan leaders to avoid comments that could incite hatred and violence.

Wednesday's detailed ruling, plus opposition demands for an overhaul of the commission and warnings from the French firm that provided digital voting kits that it will not be ready on time, have raised fears it will be impossible to meet the poll deadline.

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Kenya's highest court on Wednesday returned a damning finding against the poll body for failing to conduct the August 8 presidential elections in accordance with the constitution and vowed it would nullify any future elections which do not conform to the dictates of the law. The official results were based on the electronic tally before the paper results were fully collated, the judges said.

Mwilu also said it appeared the board did not have all the necessary tally forms, with thousands unaccounted for, at the time they announced official results. "Noncompliance or failure by the board to do as ordered must be held against it".

Police used tear gas to disperse opposition and pro-government supporters who had gathered outside the court building while the judgment was read out.

The opposition National Super Alliance won a court petition this month to have the outcome annulled, saying President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory had been brought about by computer-aided rigging.

Kenyatta says his criticism of the Chief Justice should not be viewed as an attack on Maraga's Kisii community.

Protestors in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County threatened to hold protests daily if Justice Mwilu and Justice Lenaola are not sent packing by the Judicial Service Commission.

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