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Supreme Court upholds William Ruto’s election

The Supreme Court of Kenya has thrown out the petition by Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga and said President Elect William Ruto was validly elected 5th President.

The seven judges unanimously upheld the declaration made by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and dismissed the seven presidential election petitions including the one filed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua. “The presidential election petitions… as consolidated are hereby dismissed as a consequence we declare that president-elect to be valid,” said Chief Justice Martha Koome who read the verdict on behalf of the judges.

The apex court threw out all the nine issues for determination summarized from the nine petitions saying there was no evidence tables to back up the allegations. “Are we to nullify an election on the basis of a last minute rapture the details of which remain scanty? In the absence of any evidence of violation of the constitution and electoral laws, can we overturn the election? This we cannot do. The current dysfunctionality at the commission, did not affect the conduct of the 2022 election,” they said

The Judges however faulted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati saying he did not make matters better by maintaining “a studious silence even when it was clear that things were falling apart,” at the commission. The court confirmed that the technology deployed by the electoral body met the standards of verifiability, transparency and guaranteed credible election.

They also rules that there was no credible evidence presented by the petitioners that the Forms 34A were intercepted, before being uploaded to the public portal as alleged. They said the IEBC explained how the images were captured and how the system could not be infiltrated by unauthorised persons.

The Supreme Court said a scrutiny of ballot boxes from 15 polling stations confirmed that there were no interference and the Forms 34As presented the National Tallying Center at the Bomas of Kenya, those given to agents and the ones at the public portal, tallied.

The judges said the power to tally and verify the Forms 34A presented at the national tallying centre is not vested in the chairperson of IEBC but the entire commission.

“We also find that the Chairperson cannot arrogate the power to tally and verify the results to the elections act to the exclusion of other commissioners. That said, we however take cognizance that the four commissioners actively participated in the tallying and verification exercise from the beginning until just before declaration of the final results by the chairperson,” Koome said.

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