In a shocking decision, Kenya’s supreme court has declared Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the presidential election last month invalid and ordered a new vote to be held within 60 days.
In the face of international pressure to ignore flagrant electoral violations, the court decided to stick to democracy.
The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favour of a petition filed by Odinga, who claimed the electronic voting results were hacked and manipulated in favour of the incumbent.
Kenyatta was declared the election winner with 54% of the vote. The judges said: “[The election commission] failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution.”
However, this was in stark contrats to the International election observers and western officials verdict on the eleciotns and who had called on Odinga to accept defeat, saying that they had found no evidence of “centralised manipulation”.
The international election observers pronounced their verdicts on the 2017 polls, without waiting to see what really went on. It was an assessment guaranteed to please the ruling party, the country’s business community, as well as international investors with huge stakes in East Africa’s biggest economy.
The election was "fair", the international observers declared in their first assessments, before proceeding to hail Kenya as a beacon of democracy in the continent.
In fact the "observer" missions from the EU and the US went out of their way in shutting down any claim of voter fraud and manipulation, and declared the election result "final".
The former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the Carter Center’s observer mission in Kenya, publicly stated that, “Kenya has made a remarkable statement to Africa and the world about its democracy and the character of that democracy. Don’t let anybody besmirch that.”
However despite the blatant attempt by western powers to keep Kenyatta in power, the decision to nullify the result, a first in Kenya, sets up a new race for the presidency between Kenyatta and the veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga.