Kenya’s Supreme Court [Official website] ruled 4-2 Friday to invalidate [materials] the recent presidential election. President Uhuru Kenyatta was reelected after winning 54 percent of the votes in the recent election, which was held on August 8. The petition [text, PDF], filed on August 18 by Raila Odinga, who won 44 percent of the vote, alleged that the election failed to comply with several of the requirements established under Kenya’s constitution. It also contends that the 2.6 percent of votes that were rejected was “deserving of an inquiry.” The Supreme Court found that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission “failed to conduct the election in the manner set in the Constitution,” but did not find any wrong doing from Kenyatta. The new vote must be held within 60 days. This is the first time that a court in Africa invalidated an election due to irregularities in voting.
The election has sparked violent protests, resulting [JURIST report] in at least 24 people dead, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights [official website]. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has called on Kenyan leaders [JURIST report] to “take the responsible path and exercise their leadership to avoid violence” after these deadly protests. Protests the following Kenya’s 2007 election, which Odinga also lost, resulted in more than 1,200 deaths, triggering an International Criminal Court investigation and charges that were ultimately dropped [JURIST report] against Kenyatta. On Monday Kenya’s Supreme Court had ordered [JURIST report] the election commission to allow Odinga and Kenyatta limited access to its computer servers and electronic devices so that they could assess the vote-count themselves.