Monday, November 6, 2017

Kenyan politician files petition challenging poll results

 

A former Kenyan lawmaker and businessman on Monday filed a petition challenging a presidential election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta, in the latest legal battle to hit the drawn-out poll process.

The former MP, John Harun Mwau, wants the Supreme Court to annul the October 26 election re-run, which was called after the court overturned the results of an initial poll on August 8 in a historical decision.

He contests the inclusion of a minor candidate in the presidential re-run who had been declared bankrupt, and argues that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should have conducted fresh nominations ahead of the vote, according to court documents.

 

Kenya was plunged into crisis after the opposition contested the August 8 vote, which the Supreme Court annulled citing widespread "irregularities and illegalities".

 

A fresh poll was ordered and held on October 26. However opposition leader Raila Odinga boycotted the vote on the grounds that sufficient reforms to ensure a credible election had not been carried out.

 

Kenyatta won the vote with 98 percent in the absence of his main rival. Turnout was a mere 38.8 percent.

 

The deadline to challenge the election is midnight (2100 GMT) on Monday.

 

Observers expect a flurry of legal battles after a petition to delay the election on the eve of the vote could not go ahead as the Supreme Court could not reach a quorum.

 

Kenyatta himself conceded his victory was "likely to once again be subjected to a constitutional test through our courts", adding he would submit to such a process "no matter its outcomes."

 

Odinga vowed the election "must not stand". It is unclear if his opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) will file its own petition.

 

The coalition has formed a "resistance" wing which has called for economic boycotts of certain companies and has said it will hold protests and other forms of civil disobedience.

 

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