Kenya Supreme Court Nullifies Presidential Election

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Kenya Supreme Court Nullifies Presidential Election

The ruling at the Supreme Court on Friday, September 1 has transformed Chief Justice David Maraga into an instant hero in the country.

All agreed that what the Nation termed a "Supreme Bombshell" was a welcome sign of the judiciary's independence.

"Kenyans have struggled for decades to institutionalize the rule of law".

In addition, the registrar's report found that the electoral commission failed to provide full court-ordered access to its servers, which NASA had demanded in order to back up its allegations of hacking.

"Intrinsic in this is the desire to establish independent institutions that provide checks and balances against each other".

The claim seemed far-fetched - Kenyatta's margin of victory was 1.4 million votes, too large a number to be easily rigged, and the voting had been deemed free of irregularities by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and observers from the African Union, the European Union and the Carter Center.

"It's a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of Africa", Odinga said.

"For the first time in the history of African democratisation, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a President", he said.

The press also raised prickly questions about the weeks to come.

Odinga said he no longer had faith in the current election commission and called for them to step down.

However, they warned that the 60 days within which a new election must be held will bring tension and anxiety, and the restraint of leaders and credibility of the new election will be paramount.

Maraga said there had been "irregularities and illegalities", notably in the transmission of election results.

"The US, EU were on the forefront supporting the adoption of the new Constitution during President Mwai Kibaki's era but after the announcement of Mr Kenyatta and William Ruto as winners of the polls, they resorted to the status quo", he said.

Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday he disagreed with a Supreme Court ruling that nullified his win in last month's presidential election, but that he would respect the decision and urged citizens to do the same.

Odinga has claimed that hackers last month used the identity of a murdered Kenyan election official, who had been in charge of the electronic voting system, to gain entry to the election commission's database in order to manipulate voting results.

Meanwhile, the court's decision was welcomed by the two petitioners who described it as historic. "As of now, I did not hear, in the judgement, I did not hear any mention with regard to the electoral commission chairman", Chebukati said. He won in 2013 with 50.03 percent of the vote, triggering an unsuccessful legal challenge by Odinga.

At least 21 people, including a baby and a nine-year-old girl, were killed, mostly by police, according to an AFP tally.

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