Monday, February 26, 2024

Kenya Supreme Court criticizes election board in verdict on polls

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NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan police tear-gassed opposition supporters demonstrating near the Supreme Court on Wednesday as judges began to deliver a detailed ruling that criticized the election board for its performance in last month’s annulled presidential election.

Voters are anxious to find out whether the vote was voided on procedural grounds or whether there was evidence of systematic rigging. The court has already said in a brief Sept. 1 ruling that some tallying sheets were not signed or officially stamped.

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Election board officials had said incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won by 1.5 million votes but that was rejected by opposition leader Raila Odinga, who says the 2017 election, as well as the previous two votes, were stolen from him.

The court ordered a fresh vote to be held within 60 days. Kenya has the region’s biggest economy and is a diplomatic and security hub for East Africa.

In the introduction to the detailed ruling on Wednesday, Judge Philomena Mwilu criticized the election board for refusing to comply with court orders to open its computer servers, saying it meant that opposition claims of hacking or manipulation could be true.

“Noncompliance or failure by the board to do as ordered must be held against it,” said Judge Philomena Mwilu.

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Mwilu also said it appeared the board did not have all the necessary tally forms when they announced official results. Read more…

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