Kenya’s President-elect William Ruto’s August 9 election victory is upheld by the country’s Supreme Court following a challenge by his opponent former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Photo by EPA-EFE
Sept. 5 (BP) — Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld last month’s presidential election results declaring former Deputy Prime Minister William Ruto as the winner.
Monday’s announcement confirmed Ruto, 55, won with 50.49% of the vote, narrowly defeating veteran opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 77, who was contesting his fifth election.
Odinga disputed the results, as chaos erupted in Nairobi following the Aug. 9 election. Odinga claimed hackers had accessed the electoral body’s website and tampered with the results. Four of the seven members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission also accused the commission’s chairman Wafula Chebukati of hiding return data from other commissioners.
On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Odinga’s claims and upheld the results by the elections commission saying there was no evidence of tampering.
“IEBC carried out the verification, tallying and declaration of results in accordance with the provided constitutional law,” Chief Justice Martha Koome said as she delivered the ruling Monday.
Kenya’s new President-elect Ruto reacted to the decision with a Bible verse on Twitter. “With men it is impossible, but now with God: for with God all things are possible.” he tweeted.
This was Odinga’s fifth run for president. He challenged the results in the past two elections and convinced the Supreme Court to annul election results in 2017, forcing a rerun which he also lost.
On Monday, Odinga released a statement saying while he respects the court’s opinion, he “vehemently disagrees” with its decision.
“Our lawyers proffered irrefutable evidence and the facts were on our side, unfortunately the judges saw it otherwise,” Odinga said. “This judgment is by no means the end of our movement. In fact, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to transform this country into a prosperous democracy where each and every Kenyan can find their full belonging.”