Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the August 8 reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday and ordered new polls be held (The East African) in sixty days following a petition by opposition candidate Raila Odinga.
The electoral commission claimed Kenyatta won with 54 percent of the vote (WaPo); Odinga accused the commission of irregularities (AP) in its transmission of the results. Western officials and election observers had called on Odinga to concede (Guardian), saying there was no evidence of vote manipulation. Kenya’s 2007 election, in which Odinga also challenged the result (Al Jazeera), led to weeks of bloodshed and some 1,200 deaths.
“The court’s move is unprecedented in Kenya as well as in Africa. Globally there are few examples of high courts nullifying presidential elections—Ukraine in 2004, the Maldives in 2014, and Austria in 2016,” Lily Kuo and Abdi Latif Dahir write for Quartz.
“The government invested heavily in a new electronic voting system for this election. But that appears to have done little to increase the opposition’s confidence in the electoral process,” Hamza Mohamed writes for Al Jazeera.
“Voting patterns are still set up as ethnic blocks—indicating that although the 54-year-old democracy that is East Africa’s largest economy has undergone monumental changes since independence, some things still remain the same,” Daniel Wesangula writes for the Guardian.