By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it had annulled this August's presidential elections as they were unfair, and blamed the electoral commission for discrepancies.
Uhuru Kenyata, Kenya's incumbent president, was re-elected for a second term in the Aug. 8 elections, but the results were challenged by his main competitor Raila Odinga.
The country’s highest court had annulled the election results three weeks ago, and ordered fresh elections in October.
On Wednesday, for the first time the court read out its detailed judgment on the issue, which some observers feel will push the country into a long spell of political instability.
The verdict by the six-member bench was read out by Chief Judge David Maraga amid an atmosphere of threats and intimidation for the judiciary, which was accused of favoring the opposition leader Odinga.
The bench put the blame on Kenya’s electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for irregularities during tallying and recording of the results.
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu in her remarks said that the election results were announced even though numerous electoral forms had not been received for verification and many forms did not tally with figures from polling stations.
The judges absolved Kenyatta from any blame, shifting the blame to Kenya’s electoral body chairperson Wafula Chebukati for holding elections which were not free, fair or credible.
Justice Isaac Lenaola dismissed all appeals filed against the court verdict saying that elections are a true reflection of the people of Kenya and they should meet constitutional standards.
Outside the Supreme Court supporters of the ruling and opposition party gathered to witness the historical verdict.
John Ouma, a milk vendor who supported the opposition party, said: “I am not here to protest or destroy property. I am here to celebrate justice and democracy.”
Paul Kariuki, who supported the ruling party, said the court’s ruling was unfair. “If they want a re-run we will go to the ballot box. Kenyatta will win again.”
Fresh elections will be held in the country on Oct. 17.