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Kenya President calls on Supreme Court to dismiss election petitions

[JURIST] Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday asked the Supreme Court [official websites] to dismiss [pleading, PDF] two election petitions challenging the validity of his repeat election win. Kenyatta strongly rejected the claims made by two challengers, saying that the petitions were "manifestly wanting in fact, gravely misconceived on the law and irredeemably lacking in merit."

Kenyatta won reelection on October 26 in a second round of voting prompted by the Supreme Court's invalidation [JURIST report] of the previous election results in September. The propriety of the October election results were again challenged by two separate petitions currently before the Supreme Court. One petition was filed by human rights activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa and the other [petitions] was filed by Harun Mwau, a former member of parliament from Kilome Constituency. In his affidavits [text, PDF] filed in opposition to the petitions, President Kenyatta claims the petitioners have made unsubstantiated claims and are merely mouthpieces for rival political party National Super Alliance (NASA).

The petitioners argue that Kenyans in 27 NASA strongholds were denied their right to vote and, as such, the election should again be nullified. In response, the president argues that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) [official website] did not in any way discriminate against any voters, including the voters in the 27 constituencies outlined in the petitions. Further, Kenyatta claims that the petitions were filed in bad faith, and that the petitioners are trying to undermine a free, democratic election. Kenyatta said that, despite acts of intimidation and deadly protests [JURIST report] in parts of the country, especially in NASA strongholds, the election met the constitutional threshold of a credible, free and fair and election.

The Supreme Court has until November 14 to rule on election petitions. If the Court upholds the result, Kenyatta will be sworn in on November 28.

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