NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya’s Supreme Court nullifies result of the August 8 presidential election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a ruling issued today Friday, the court said the electoral board committed “irregularities and illegalities” during last month’s vote, harming the integrity of the presidential election. The ruling offered a potent display of judicial independence on a continent where courts often come under intense pressure from political leaders, analysts said.
Supporters of Kenya’s opposition celebrate after the Supreme Court ordered a re-run of the August 8 presidential poll [Simon Maina/AFP]
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga says international observers “moved in fast to sanitize fraud” in the election. The Supreme Court says the election commission committed “illegalities and irregularities.”
In a national address following the court decision, Kenyatta said that while he “personally disagrees” with the ruling, he will “respect it, as much as I disagree with it”. It is important to respect the rule of law, “we are ready to go back again to the people with the same agenda,” he said as he appealed for calm.
Thousands of people in the opposition strongholds of Kisumu, Mombasa, and parts of Nairobi streamed into the streets and whooped with joy after the news was announced on Friday. Supporters of Mr. Kenyatta in Gatundu, his hometown, were subdued.
Kenyatta is addressing the nation after Friday morning’s ruling that also called for a new election within 60 days. The president is calling on Kenyans repeatedly to remain peaceful in a country where some elections have been followed by deadly violence.