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Kenya in tense wait for Supreme Court ruling on election

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By Judith Gicobi

Kenyans nervously await the Supreme Court’s decision on petitions challenging the results of the presidential election in August on Monday, September 5. If the election is upheld, weeks of political unrest might ensue.

Deputy President William Ruto, who trounced Raila Odinga, a longtime opposition politician who is now supported by the ruling party, by a slim margin of less than two percentage points, was announced the winner of the closely contested contest.

Last month, Odinga petitioned Kenya’s highest court, alleging fraud in the voting process and asserting he had “enough evidence” to demonstrate he had in fact won the August 9 election, one of the most expensive in Africa.

Although polling day went off without incident, the results provoked irate demonstrations in some Odinga strongholds, and there are worries that a protracted dispute may worsen the nation’s general economic downturn and spark riots in a nation with a history of post-election conflict.

The court will consider if any anomalies were significant enough to invalidate the election, as happened with the presidential election in August 2017 that Odinga also challenged.

Judges have been poring over evidence boxes for the past two weeks to determine whether the electoral commission’s equipment complied with the “standards of integrity, verifiability, security, and transparency.”

A new election must be held within 60 days incase of an annulment decision by the court.

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