NAIROBI – Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld William Ruto‘s victory in the August 9 presidential election, ending weeks of political uncertainty and dealing a blow to challenger Raila Odinga who alleged voter fraud.
“This is a unanimous decision. The petitions are hereby dismissed, accordingly, we declare the first respondent (Ruto) president-elect,” Chief Justice Martha Koome said.
Vice President Ruto, 55, won in a bitter race against Odinga, a veteran opposition politician now backed by the ruling party, by a margin of less than two percentage points.
Odinga filed a petition with Kenya’s highest court last month, saying he had “enough evidence” to show he had indeed won what would be one of Africa’s costliest elections.
Although election day was peaceful, the results sparked angry protests in Odinga strongholds, and there are fears the row could fuel violence in a country with a history of post-election unrest.
Judges have spent the past two weeks sifting through boxes of evidence to determine whether any irregularities were significant enough to overturn the election, as was the case in the August 2017 presidential election, which Odinga also contested.
Koome began reading the verdict just after noon (0900 GMT), methodically listing the court’s response to the nine counts that formed the heart of the case.
She said the technology used by the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) met standards of “integrity, verifiability, security and transparency”.
All of the “irregularities were not significant enough to affect the final outcome of the presidential election”, she said, rejecting all of the petitioners’ claims.
Odinga’s 72-page petition claimed hackers broke into IEBC servers and downloaded manipulated results forms, but the suit was dismissed by the court.
Both candidates pledged to abide by the verdict, sparking celebrations among William Ruto’s supporters.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP