UCF Global Perspectives


Kenyan Supreme Court Calls for Election Redo

Carla Garcia, Mandela Fellow, African Affairs

September 6, 2017

On Friday, the Kenyan Supreme Court annulled the results of last month’s presidential election, ordering that a new election be conducted within 60 days. After President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the election, opposition candidate Raila Odinga petitioned the results before the court, claiming the election was fraudulent (Reuters 1). In an unprecedented ruling, Chief Justice David Maraga stated that the election process had not been constitutional and Kenyatta’s victory was “invalid, null and void” (Reuters 1). In response to the ruling, Kenyatta declared there was a “problem” with the Court and issued what some viewed as “thinly veiled threats” against it (Reuters 1).

Odinga threatened to boycott the election, set for October 17th, unless there were “legal and constitutional guarantees,” including the firing of certain electoral commission officials (BBC). Odinga remarked, “you cannot do a mistake twice and expect to get different results,” and complained his party was not consulted about the details of the re-election (Reuters 2). Hours later, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, stated that the commission appointed new key officials to oversee the coming election (Reuters 2). There are concerns about a potentially low voter turnout in the re-election, and that the large cost of the election will be a burden on taxpayers (Al Jazeera).





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