In Summary
  • Chief Justice David Maraga said the commission had failed to conduct a free, fair and credible election.
  • The next election, as ordered by the court, will not be limited to the two front-runners, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

Nasa leader Raila Odinga on Friday said he will not participate in a fresh poll if the current office holders of the electoral commission remain in place.

Mr Odinga, while speaking at the Okoa Kenya centre in Lavington, Nairobi, a few hours after the Supreme Court nullified the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of subverting the will of Kenyans by conducting a questionable poll.

CREDIBLE POLL
Owing to the irregularities witnessed in the elections, he said, a view that was also supported by the Supreme Court, the country had lost faith in the current officials.

Chief Justice David Maraga, while delivering the ruling arrived at by a majority of judges of the court, said the commission had, according to evidence tabled before the court, failed to conduct a free, fair and credible election as envisaged in the law.

“It is now clear that the entire IEBC is corrupted. Changes must be made in the commission before we go back to the polls.

"A few individuals in the commission cannot subvert the will of the Kenyan people,” Mr Odinga said.

OBSERVERS
The Opposition chief, who also castigated the European Commission and the former US state secretary John Kerry over their endorsement of Mr Kenyatta’s victory, said the court ruling had indicated that all other elective positions had been affected.

Mr Odinga said the international community, in their approval of the polls despite protests from the Opposition, was against the spirit of the Constitution that the European Union and the US had championed in 2010.

“The role of international observers must now be relooked into.

"The US, EU were on the forefront supporting the adoption of the new Constitution during President Mwai Kibaki’s era but after the announcement of Mr Kenyatta and William Ruto as winners of the polls, they resorted to the status quo,” he said.

JUDICIARY
Mr Odinga praised the ruling, saying it had set a precedent for other countries in Africa and had restored the faith of Kenyans in the Judiciary.

“We moved to court with what we believed was compelling evidence,” he said.

Mr Odinga said they will respect the opinion of the two judges (Justices Njoki Ndung’u and Jackton Ojwang’) who gave a dissenting ruling.

“And because of today’s ruling, Chief Justice Maraga will be remembered for setting an exceptional standard in Africa,” he said.

PROSECUTION
Meanwhile, the court’s decision was welcomed by the two petitioners who described it as historic.

“For the first time in Africa, a court has nullified a presidential election. This is historic and a triumph for the Kenyan people,” Mr Odinga, who was in court alongside other Nasa principals, said.

His deputy Kalonzo Musyoka said he was proud to be a Kenyan and the decision had restored the dignity of the Supreme Court.

Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot, who was also in court, praised the judges for the bold decision and called on the electoral chiefs to be punished.

COMMISSIONERS

Dr Aukot said the commission had messed up the election out of realisation that “nothing will happen to them as was the case in 2013”.

The three leaders introduced a political question in the matter that may delay the 60-day constitutional deadline within which the fresh election must be held.

They said they had no confidence in the commission and demanded the Chebukati-led team be punished for the malpractices identified by the court.

Lawyer Stephen Mwenesi for the Law Society of Kenya said the decision was part of the process and thanked the court, saying he hoped the court’s direction will be adhered to.

CONTESTERS
The next election, as ordered by the court, will not be limited to the two front-runners, President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

There have been claims that the order of the court suggests that Kenya will have a presidential runoff pitting the two.

But Mr Mwenesi told the Nation that the order has opened the door for a fresh poll that will include even those who never contested on August 8.

“It means all those who have interest in the presidential seat have an opportunity to contest,” he said.