Kenya’s supreme court validates William Ruto’s win in presidential election
Kenya’s Supreme Court has unanimously validated the results of the disputed presidential election held last month in which Vice President William Ruto was declared winner with 50.5% of votes.
The verdict — following a ruling on a number of petitions brought by Ruto’s closest challenger Raila Odinga — was delivered by Martha Koome, chair of the seven-member Supreme Court, this Monday (5 September). “We declare the election of the president-elect to be valid,” she said. Koome also dismissed many of the petitions that alleged fraud in the technology used in the electoral process while recognizing what it called a serious malaise in governance of the electoral commission. However, the judge said the court concluded that the last minute “electoral rupture is insufficient to invalidate or annul the vote”.
On 15 August, Ruto had been declared the winner of the ballot by Wafula Chebukati, the head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with 50.4% of the vote to Odinga’s 48.8%. In a dramatic split just before the announcement of the results, four of the seven commissioners disowned the result. The subsequent lawsuit by Odinga’s camp had sought to overturn the results of the presidential election and has left the East African nation in political limbo.
Elections in Kenya have repeatedly been sources of violence. The deadliest, in 2007, left more than 1,100 people dead in politically motivated clashes and displaced hundreds of thousands. Although the current electoral process has been largely peaceful, fears remain for any potential unrest.