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Economy

Supreme Court releases judgment on poll petitions

From left: Supreme Court Judges Njoki Ndungu, Jackton Ojwang, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Philip Tunoi, Mohamed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala during a ruling on the presidential petition on March 30, 2013. Photo/SALATON NJAU
From left: Supreme Court Judges Njoki Ndungu, Jackton Ojwang, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Philip Tunoi, Mohamed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala during a ruling on the presidential petition on March 30, 2013. Photo/SALATON NJAU  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Supreme Court has said that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga failed to prove that Uhuru Kenyatta did not get the required votes to qualify as President-elect.

In a 133-page detailed judgement released on Tuesday morning, the court, says that it considered all the evidence presented by Mr Odinga and his co-petitioners in the matter and concluded that the evidence did not warrant nullification of Mr Kenyatta’s victory.

“The evidence, in our opinion, does not disclose any profound irregularity in the management of the electoral process, nor does it gravely impeach the mode of participation in the electoral process by any of the candidates who offered himself or herself before the voting public,” the judges concluded.

“It is not evident, on the facts of this case, that the candidate declared as the President-elect had not obtained the basic vote-threshold justifying his being declared as such,” said the ruling.

Five days after Kenya’s March 4 General Election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared Mr Kenyatta President-elect, with 6,173,433 votes.

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Mr Odinga, who was the candidate for the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) was announced to have garnered 5,340,546 votes.

Mr Issack Hassan, the IEBC chairman, declared that Mr Kenyatta was the duly elected President with 50.07 per cent of the votes cast.

Mr Odinga disputed the results and filed his petition at the Supreme Court.

His case was that “the electoral process was so fundamentally flawed that it precluded the possibility of discerning whether the presidential results declared were lawful.”

He accused the IEBC of failing to carry out a transparent, verifiable, accurate and accountable election as required by the Constitution.

Civil Society activists Gladwell Otieno and Zahid Rajan also filed a petition at the same court questioning the conduct of the elections, while a third petition was filed by activists Moses Kuria and Dennis Itumbi on the question of spoilt votes.

In the judgement, the six bench judge agreed that the March 4 elections cannot be said to have been perfect as much as it's of great interest to Kenyans.

However, the petitioners did not “clearly and decisively” show that the conduct of the elections was so devoid of merits and so distorted that it did not reflect the intention of Kenyans.

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