Court: No electoral fraud in presidential election

Kenia’s new president is William Ruto. The Supreme Court of the East African country on Monday declared the presidential election in August valid. This is the first time that Kenya will be led by a president who does not belong to the previous political dynasties. Chief Justice Martha Koome dismissed all of his competitors Raila Odinga and his comrades-in-arms submitted objections to the election results. The seven judges made the decision unanimously.

Claudia Bröll

Political correspondent for Africa based in Cape Town.

Millions of Kenyans awaited the verdict with as much excitement as the announcement of the election results. For the 77-year-old opposition veteran Odinga, this is the fifth attempt to become president that has failed. Even his father had tried in vain. “We have always stood up for the rule of law and the constitution. In this respect, we respect the court’s opinion, even if we strongly disagree with its decision today,” he said. “Our lawyers presented irrefutable evidence and the facts spoke for us, but unfortunately the judges saw it differently.” However, the verdict is not the end of their movement, it spurs them on Kenya into a “thriving democracy”.

“For all things are possible with God”

Election winner Ruto, the previous vice president, reacted on Twitter with the Bible quote “It is impossible with men, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Both candidates had promised to accept any court decision. They had fought a close neck-and-neck race in the largely peaceful elections. According to the Electoral Commission (IEBC), Ruto won the election with 50.5 percent of the votes, Odinga reached 48.9 percent.

Every presidential election in Kenya since 2002 has been contested. The 2007 election sparked serious civil unrest, the 2017 election was annulled and rerun by the Supreme Court. This year there was an uproar immediately after the announcement of the result. Four members of the electoral commission left the counting center in protest. They complained about an “opaque” counting process and calculation errors. Odinga and his team then declared the result “null and void”. They also accused the IEBC chairman of going it alone.

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