Kenya's Supreme Court explains why it nullified presidential polls

Kenya's Supreme Court explains why it nullified presidential polls

Opposition leader Raila Odinga filed after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared victor of the August 8 election indicating that the electoral commission's electronic tallying system was hacked to tilt the victory in favour of Kenyatta.

The judge also said an assumption by the majority that since there were more votes cast in favour of the Mr Kenyatta compared to governors and MPs then IEBC had interfered with the result of the presidential election was wrong. It made the decision in response to opposition leader Raila Odinga's petition challenging the official results that Kenyatta won with 54% of the vote.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said the process was "like a matatu", referencing Kenya's reckless, law-defying minibuses.

Jubilee supporters protest outside Supreme Court on September, September 19.

"Though the petitioner claimed various offences were committed by the issues of the first respondent, that is the IEBC (elections board), no evidence was placed before us to prove that allegation", Maraga said.

Lawyers for Raila Odinga's National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition last month challenged Kenyatta's re-election alleging rigging, hacking and tampering with results. "These discrepancies affected the integrity of the elections", Chief Justice David Maraga said. The electoral commission announced the victor of the presidential election even though it was missing thousands of scanned copies of forms used to compile the presidential results at the constituency, said the judgment.

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"The (board) can not therefore be said to have verified the results", she said. The official results were based on the electronic tally before the paper results were fully collated, the judges said. The petitions claim misconduct and bias.

An audit of the electronic system used to tally votes in the cancelled poll showed no manipulation of data, the French biometrics firm that supplied the system has confirmed.

They ruled that IEBC failed to verify the numbers before declaring Uhuru Kenyatta the victor and Nasa proved that declaration was made before receiving all the 40,883 Forms 34As in breach of the Elections Act.

"Since the Supreme Court delivered judgment. these threats have become more aggressive", Maraga said in a briefing with reporters outside the court, adding that individual judges and their staff have become subject to numerous threats on social media.

Both judges questioned how an election costing taxpayers 43 billion shillings (347 million euros/$416 million) could result in problems with transmission and "disturbing" questions over the security of forms - which were all meant to be printed by the same company.

Kenyatta, however, said he still had the power to convene Parliament.

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