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US, UK and 22 other envoys laud Supreme Court decision

02 September 2017

NAIROBI-The Kenyan Supreme Court has moved to annul last month's elections in which incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, was declared the victor with a margin of 1.4 million votes by the electoral commission.

Kenya's Supreme Court has nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's election win last month and called for new elections within 60 days.

Kenya's electoral commission says it will change personnel and processes to prepare for a new presidential vote after the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election.

Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition party National Super Alliance (NASA), had alleged widespread fraud in the August 8 vote, including the hacking of the electoral commission's computer system.

Odinga, a longtime opposition candidate and the son of Kenya's first vice president, had unsuccessfully challenged the results of the 2013 vote that Kenyatta won.

The ODM National Treasurer said that those who committed election irregularities including IEBC Chairman should face the law.

The current crop of IEBC commissioners took office only seven months before the election, after their predecessors were forced to step down following widespread protests against them.

The jubilant youth sang songs and chanted pro-Nasa leader Raila Odinga slogans.

The decision was by a majority of the six-man court, with two judges dissenting.

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Even before the election results were announced, Odinga said he refused to accept the outcome given the potential for manipulation of the paper forms.

Molo MP Kuria Kimani said the decision is "victory delayed" since the same people who voted for President Kenyatta will vote for him again. "The court did not question the number of votes garnered by the President but transmission", said Mr Ndirangu.

In the wake of the ruling, President Kenyatta called for peace, hoping to avoid a recurrence of the violence that erupted in the days after the election and left eleven people dead.

They ordered a fresh ballot be held within 60 days.

President Kenyatta's lead counsel Ahmednassir Abdulahi said in court that his client wanted to see the full judgement to understand how the alleged irregularities would "obliterate" his 1.4 million vote winning margin.

Speaking later at a rally, he also condemned the global election monitors who said there had been no major issues.

A row over the 2007 poll, which Odinga challenged after being declared loser, was followed by weeks of ethnic bloodshed that killed more than 1200 people.

"We now have confidence in the Kenyan judiciary and we think Justice David Maraga has done justice in the case", said Mr Evans Nyakundi, a resident. The shilling weakened and Kenya's dollar bonds fell. However, a new election date has yet to be determined by the country's election commission.

US, UK and 22 other envoys laud Supreme Court decision