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Kenya Election Challenge: The Supreme Court unanimously upholds William Ruto’s Presidential win

Kenya’s seven-member Supreme Court has ruled on the petition challenging Aug. 9 elections results in which Deputy President William Ruto was declared winner by the IEBC. The Court has unanimously upheld William Ruto’s Presidential win.

Kenya’s seven-member Supreme Court has delivered its final judgment on the presidential election petition filed by Raila Amolo Odinga, challenging the results of Kenya Elections 2022. The Court has ruled that William Ruto was properly elected as president, dismissing all the eight petitions challenging the elections.

Excerpts of the ruling.

The judges were not persuaded by the allegation that the technology failed the test of integrity, verifiability, security and transparency, Chief Justice Martha Koome says.

The Chief Justice says there was no evidence that anyone accessed the results transmission system to tamper with the results. She says the commission sufficiently explained how the system captured the results forms.

On the issue whether there was a difference between Forms 34A uploaded on the IEBC Public Portal and the Forms 34A received at the National Tallying Centre, and Forms 34A issued to the Agents at the Polling Stations. The court found no significant difference. 

CJ Koome says petitioners did not table any credible evidence of hacking of IEBC systems; and scrutiny report also did not reveal any breaches.

IEBC postponement of elections in selected areas did not amount to voter suppression to the detriment of Raila Odinga – CJ Koome. The “claim was just another red herring,” CJ Koome says.

(L – R) Hon. Justice Isaac Lenaola, Justice Dr. Smokin Wanjala, Hon. Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu, Hon. Chief Justice Martha Koome, Justice Mohammed K. Ibrahim, Hon Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u, Hon. Justice William Ouko. Photo credit: judiciary.go.ke

On ballot stuffing: The burden to prove ballot stuffing was upon the 1st petitioner. Not a single document has been presented to prove that.

CJ Koome: All the petitioners contend that the walk out by the four commissioners called to question the credibility of the entire election. We note that apart from their 11th hour denunciation there is no proof that the election was compromised.

“The power to verify and tally presidential election results vests not in the IEBC chairperson but the commission… The four commissioners actively participated in the verification and tallying exercise from the beginning up until just before the declaration of the results by the chair person.”

“Are we to nullify an election on account of a last-minute boardroom rupture? This we cannot do,” CJ Koome adds.

Whether there were unexplainable discrepancies between the votes cast for presidential candidates and other elective positions. CJ Koome: There were no unexplained significant discrepancies; no ballot stuffing was proven.

Supreme Court finds that petitioners did not provide a watertight case for the nullification of results on the basis that the 50%-plus-one constitutional threshold for an outright win was not met. CJ Koome says that William Ruto did receive more than 50% plus one votes.

The judgment paves the way for Ruto, 55, to be sworn in as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor next week.

The court’s ruling is final and can not be appealed.

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