Ruto’s victory, Ruto

Kenya’s Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld William Ruto’s victory in the August 9 presidential election.

The latest development ended weeks of political uncertainty and delivering a blow to challenger Raila Odinga who had alleged fraud in the presidential election.

“This is a unanimous decision. The petitions are hereby dismissed, as a consequence we declare the first respondent (Ruto) as president-elect,” Chief Justice Martha Koome said.

Deputy President Ruto, aged 55, scraped to victory by a margin of less than two percentage points in a tightly-fought race against Odinga, a veteran opposition politician now backed by the ruling party.

According to AFP, Odinga filed a petition to Kenya’s top court last month, claiming he had “enough evidence” to show he had in fact won the election, which ranked as one of Africa’s most expensive polls.

READ ALSO: Kenya’s Deputy President Ruto declared winner of presidential poll

Although voting day passed off peacefully, the results sparked angry protests in Odinga strongholds and there are fears that the dispute could fuel violence in a country with a history of post-poll unrest.

Judges spent the last two weeks sifting through boxes of evidence to establish if any irregularities were substantial enough to nullify the election, as was the case with the August 2017 presidential poll, which Odinga also challenged.

Koome began reading out the verdict shortly after midday, methodically listing the court’s response to the nine issues at the heart of the case.

She said the technology used by the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) met the standards of “integrity, verifiability, security and transparency”.

Any “irregularities were not of such magnitude as to affect the final results of the presidential election”, she said, dismissing all the claims made by the petitioners.

Odinga’s 72-page petition alleged hackers broke into IEBC servers and uploaded doctored result forms, but the claim was dismissed by the court.

Both the candidates had pledged to respect the verdict, which sparked celebrations by Ruto supporters.

The Star



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