Kenya's Supreme Court Voids Kenyatta's Re-election, Orders Re-run

Meanwhile, Odinga hailed the judgment as historic.

Kisii Town residents stormed into the streets immediately Chief Justice David Maraga announced the 2017 Presidential Elections as null and void ordering for a fresh elections in the next 60 days. It ordered a new poll within 60 days.

Kenyatta said that while he doesn't support the ruling, he will respect it. Kenyan authorities bolstered security before the court's decision. "Kenyans will decide because this is the nature of democracy", Kenyatta added.

Global observers, more than 400 of whom were on the ground for the August 8 election, had signed off on the result, despite the murder of a top election official just days before the vote and a breakdown in the tallying system that saw some of the results reported via text message. Chief Justice and President of Supreme Court David Maraga said the election where the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor had gross irregularities which affected the integrity of elections. There were two dissents from Ndungu and Ojwang, they are also expected to give their full dissent report in 21 days.

Envoys, mostly from Europe and the United States, in Kenya said the decision was an "important moment for Kenya". The court says the election commission "committed illegalities and irregularities" after opposition leader Raila Odinga challenged the vote.

In the coastal city of Mombasa, people rode motorcycles through the streets, cheering.

The move to nullify an election was unprecedented on the African continent.

"It was really thoroughly unexpected", he said. I think this goes too far.

He said, "The decision is salutary and most welcome". The court blamed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the irregularities. A scholarship competition was their only way out. His 2013 petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

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Odinga called the ruling "a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa", and lambasted the actions of the electoral commission, stating he had "no faith at all in the electoral commission as now constituted".

Chebukati highlighted that the new commissioners only took office seven months ago without any changes to the secretariat.

Odinga is calling for electoral officers to be prosecuted.

Kenya has a long history of disputed votes, election violence and a lack of faith in the judiciary's independence. The country's currency, the shilling, also fell by 0.4 percent against the dollar following the ruling, while Kenya's 2024 sovereign dollar bond price fell 1.2 cents, Reuters reported.

The stock exchange halted trading briefly midway through the session after blue-chip shares plummeted.

The mood in Kenyatta's strongholds was solemn, pointing up the deep divide in the country in the wake of the election. However, a new election date has yet to be determined by the country's election commission.

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch Member of the EU Parliament who headed the EU Election Observation Mission, noted there were some problems with insufficient records for voters whose identification could not be verified, but said there were "no signs of centralized or localized manipulation".

Kenya is vastly more stable than war-torn neighbors Somalia and South Sudan, and has been a key USA partner in the fight against the Islamist extremist movement al-Shabab in Somalia. Human rights groups have said police killed at least 24 people in unrest that followed the August 8 vote.

  • Adam Floyd