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Court rules Kenya electoral body complicit in poor conduct of polls | coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Supporters [left] of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga run away from teargas fired by policemen during a protest outside the Supreme court in Nairobi. Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters [right] clash outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi. The Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered its full judgment on the nullification of the Aug. 8 presidential election. XINHUA PHOTOS - FRED MUTUNE

Court rules Kenya electoral body complicit in poor conduct of polls

by Chrispinus Omar and David Musyoka NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s highest court on Wednesday returned a damning finding against the poll body for failing to conduct the Aug. 8 presidential elections in accordance with the constitution and vowed it would nullify any future elections which do not conform to the dictates of the law.

Supreme Court President and Chief Justice David Maraga said irregularities, including the failure to conduct the presidential election in accordance with the national laws, rendered it null and void.
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In a majority ruling, Maraga criticized the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) for failing to give the court full access to its computer servers.

"If anomalies remain, the same court will annul the elections regardless of the aspirants," he said.

"As it is important to respect the will of the people, it is also important to maintain the purity of an election."

The chief justice said irregularities by the commission were of a substantial nature so they cannot be ignored.

He said the forms used to declare the results of the elections lacked the required security features, with at least 157 forms containing the presidential results not stamped to certify authenticity.

Maraga said the authenticity of the forms used to declare the presidential election results were in doubt since several forms containing the final results lacked signatures of agents of political parties.

"Some forms did not have security features but were said to have been printed by the same printers," he said.

  Kenya Supreme Court President and Chief Justice David Maraga | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga is seen during the Supreme Court’s detailed judgment in Nairobi. The Supreme Court has delivered its full judgment on the nullification of the Aug. 8 presidential election. XINHUA PHOTO - FRED MUTUNE

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At least 56 forms from 290 constituencies containing the results did not have the security features, such as watermarks; 32 forms not signed by agents; 26 not stamped and 481 were carbon copies while in some instances, election staff declined to sign the forms.

The chief justice said while there was no law requiring the forms to be of a particular design and security features, no proper explanation was given for their difference.

He ruled these forms raised questions on whether the IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, verified them.

The chief justice said the irregularities were of a significant nature that no court of good standing could ignore them.

Earlier on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said the electoral agency’s system was infiltrated and data contaminated.

She said that the electoral body’s refusal to provide access left the court "no choice but to accept the petitioner’s claims that the IEBC’s IT system was infiltrated and compromised, and the data therein interfered with, or IEBC’s officials themselves interfered with the data."

Mwilu also criticized the independent voting body for failing to provide information on the IT system’s firewall configuration, among other court requests.

"What remained uncontroverted by Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba’s own admission was that three days after declaration of results, IEBC was not in a position to supply all the Forms 34A to petitioner," Mwilu ruled, referring to polling stations’ tally sheets.

Four of six Supreme Court judges on Sept. 1 annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Aug. 8 presidential elections victory following a successful petition by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Kenya supreme court to issue ruling on poll petition amid intense attacks

by Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Supreme Court will on Wednesday issue its comprehensive ruling on why it nullified the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in Aug. 8 polls.

The ruling, which was expected to be out Tuesday and is eagerly awaited, will be ready on Wednesday, according to the court’s registrar.

However, as the judges write the last words in their verdict, the Supreme Court was under siege Tuesday, facing attacks from the public and politicians who are calling for the investigation of some judges who they accuse of gross misconduct while hearing the petition challenging Kenyatta’s win.

Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has accused the court of denying them victory while acting in cohort with the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA).

Kenyatta early this month called the four judges who nullified his win crooks and promised to "fix" the institution if re-elected.

On Tuesday, his Jubilee Party supporters camped outside the Supreme Court, protesting its decision against Kenyatta and calling for the resignation of the judges.

"We will not leave this place unless the judges resign or rescind their decision.

"The court should not issue out a flawed ruling," said a man carrying a placard faulting the court and demanding Kenyatta be declared the president.

On Monday, a man, believed to be a Jubilee Party supporter, filed a petition at the Judicial Service Commission seeking the removal of two supreme court judges.

The two judges are among the four, including the chief justice, who annulled President Kenyatta’s win citing irregularities and illegalities that affected the entire electoral process.

On Tuesday, the Judicial Service Commission, a body that employs judges, acknowledged receiving the petitions, against the chief justice, his deputy and Judge Lenaola.

Chief Justice David Maraga, after a meeting of the commission, said the judiciary will defend its independence and not allow any attacks which are only meant to intimidate judges.

"We are ready to pay the ultimate price to defend the judiciary’s independence," he said.

"We will not allow attacks from politicians and any other quarters."

Opposition supporters and critics have questioned the attacks on the judiciary, describing the petitions and protests as a blackmail to the judges so that they do not release the full judgement.

Lawyer Otiende Amollo, who represented NASA at the Supreme Court during the election petition, accused Jubilee Party of hypocrisy.

"When the Supreme Court rules in your favor, the judiciary is firm; When otherwise, it becomes a court of crooks," he said.

"What degree of hypocrisy?"

However, Kenyatta’s supporters praised the petitions and demonstrations, saying their victory was stolen as judges worked with the opposition.

Jubilee lawmaker Ngunjiri Wambugu accused the opposition and the Supreme Court of executing a civilian coup under Kenyatta’s nose.

"If elections are not held in 60 days, on the 61st day Uhuru Kenyatta should be sworn in for his second term," he said.

Analysts warned that Kenya is hurtling toward a dangerous path as key institutions that are the pillars of democracy come under attack.

"If the judiciary or Supreme Court for that matter is destroyed, where would Kenyans run to for recourse?" said Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer.

"This is a bad precedent the country is setting but if there is evidence the judges were influenced let the law take its course."
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Kenya ruling party supporters demonstrate against Supreme Court

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s supporters of the ruling Jubilee party staged a demonstration outside the country’s apex court on Tuesday over the Sept. 1 nullification of presidential election results.

Waving placards and twigs, the supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition criticized a section of Supreme Court Judges for invalidating his re-election for a second term in office.

The protesters condemned two judges at the apex court who were cited in a lead story carried by the Standard Newspaper for allegedly holding inappropriate meetings with lawyers representing the opposition’s National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Odinga petitioned against Kenyatta’s victory in the Aug. 8 presidential elections citing irregularities and illegalities in counting and transmission of votes.

The highest court in the land in its ruling said that glaring illegalities and irregularities undermined the integrity of the presidential elections and ordered a repeat within a period of 60 days.

 

Jubilee party supporters demonstrate against Supreme Court

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s supporters of the ruling Jubilee party staged a demonstration outside the country’s apex court on Tuesday over the Sept. 1 nullification of presidential election results.

Waving placards and twigs, the supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition criticized a section of Supreme Court Judges for invalidating his re-election for a second term in office.

The protesters condemned two judges at the apex court who were cited in a lead story carried by the Standard Newspaper for allegedly holding inappropriate meetings with lawyers representing the opposition’s National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Odinga petitioned against Kenyatta’s victory in the Aug. 8 presidential elections citing irregularities and illegalities in counting and transmission of votes.

The highest court in the land in its ruling said that glaring illegalities and irregularities undermined the integrity of the presidential elections and ordered a repeat within a period of 60 days.

             

 

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