Issues Supreme Court judges considered to uphold Uhuru’s victory

Issues Supreme Court judges considered to uphold Uhuru’s victory

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in the October 26 repeat presidential election.

In the summary judgment, Chief Justice David Maraga highlighted issues that were raised in the two petitions seeking to annul President Kenyatta’s win for the second time.

The question of whether or not IEBC ought to have conducted fresh nominations was predominant in both petitions. The petitioners argued that IEBC committed an illegality for not conducting fresh primaries when NASA candidate Raila Odinga withdrew from the race.

“What is the legal effect of the withdrawal of the pres candidate? Did any candidate validly or properly withdraw from election?” read part of the summary judgment.

The electoral commission, however, defended its decision not to conduct fresh nominations, insisting that presidential primaries done prior to the August 8 election were still valid.

In his response, President Kenyatta accused the petitioners of filing petitions in bad faith and alleged that they (petitioners) are “surrogates, agents and mouthpiece of NASA coalition”, with the court saying that they had to consider whether the petitioners are persons entitled to file a petition.

The issue of whether or not IEBC conducted the repeat poll in strict conformity with the Constitution and all applicable laws was also raised as this was the main undoing of the electoral commission when the apex court nullified the August 8 presidential election.

There were questions on whether or not the repeat poll met the constitutional threshold of being free, fair and credible under article 81, with the petitioners arguing that there were a series of election irregularities.

Lastly, the court also deliberated on the legal consequences of IEBC not holding an election in each constituency under article 138 (2), and whether the results declared thereon valid. This was because the electoral commission decided to declare President Kenyatta winner with the election having not taken place in 27 constituencies in Nyanza region.

In the summary judgement read by Justice Maraga, the Supreme Court judges dismissed the petitions saying they were not ‘merited’.

“Having carefully considered the above issues, the specific prayers in every petition as well as the Constitution and applicable laws, the court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited,” ruled the Supreme Court.

Justice Maraga said the court would deliver a detailed decision within 21 days.

Meanwhile, the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition has asked its supporters to remain calm after the Supreme Court’s verdict, adding that it will announce the way forward in five days.