Kenya’s Supreme Court has invalidated the result of last month’s contentious presidential election and ordered a new vote, after a legal challenge by the opposition.
Four out of six judges upheld a petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who claimed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta was fraudulent.
“The presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the constitution, rendering the declared results invalid null and void,” Chief Justice David Maraga said, ordering fresh elections within 60 days.
In a decision that surprised many observers, the court agreed with opposition arguments that the electoral commission had committed irregularities that invalidated the poll.
Odinga was jubilant as he welcomed what he called a “precedent-setting ruling” by the court.
“For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a president,” he said. “This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa.”
Odinga also railed against the national election body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which said it would brief the press Friday afternoon local time.
“We have no faith in the electoral commission as currently constituted,” Odinga said.
“They have committed criminal acts. Most of them actually belong in jail and therefore we are going to ask prosecution for all the electoral commission officials who have committed this monstrous crime against the people of Kenya.”
He added: “This is a triumph for the people of Kenya.”