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m3n4.net September 25, 2018


Kenyan top court finds electoral body complicit in poor conduct of polls

21 September 2017, 12:18 | Tara Lloyd

Kenyan top court finds electoral body complicit in poor conduct of polls

Kenya's annulled vote rescheduled to October 26

Its status as a diplomatic, trade and security hub for East Africa means the court's ruling and preparation for the fresh election, now scheduled for October 17, are being closely watched for signs of instability or violence.

OT-Morpho said an internal audit of its equipment conducted after the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 presidential election found no foul play.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has launched a full-throttled campaign for the sacking of electoral commission officials whom it blames for bungling the election.

Wednesday's detailed ruling, plus opposition demands for an overhaul of the commission and warnings from the French firm that provided digital voting kits that it will not be ready on time, have raised fears it will be impossible to meet the poll deadline. He also wants OT-Morpho blacklisted and investigated for alleged complicity in electoral fraud.

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The court on September 1 identified some procedural problems in a brief ruling but the key finding against the election board on Wednesday was that officials had announced results before verifying them. OT-Morpho said it had conducted two separate independent audits that verified there was no infiltration or piracy.

Kenya's sixth election since the country introduced multi-party democracy in the 1990s, has been marred by widespread public mistrust, fake news, and in some cases violence.

"If anomalies remain, the same court will annul the elections regardless of the aspirants", he said. The institution has to be outside of the influence of any outside players.

Kenyatta has called the Supreme Court judges "crooks" and warned of unspecified action against the judiciary if he is re-elected next month.

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Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen confirmed that they will enact laws which will deny the Supreme Court powers to overturn presidential election verdicts. A report on the allAfrica site notes that the senator said the goal of the law will be to protect the right of citizens where their sovereign right is robbed through "legal technicalities".

He added that "such acts are not only unlawful but also savage in nature". Maraga said the opposition had failed to show evidence Kenyatta had campaigned using state resources or undue influence.

In response to Tuesday's demonstrations, Maraga said that he and other members of the legal body which selects judges were "prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the constitution and the rule of law".

In the aftermath of the annulled poll, opposition officials repeatedly described the election results as a fraud and claimed that Odinga, who leads the National Super Alliance (NASA), was the "legitimate" victor.

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Odinga is a longtime challenger who has yet to claim the presidency.



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