Kenya: Odinga, Karua at Supreme Court

Nairobi — Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua arrived at the Supreme Court registry in Milimani Monday, where they accompanied their lawyers to deliver physical documents for a petition challenging the victory of President-Elect William Ruto.

The two arrived in the company of dozens of Azimio leaders among them Charity Ngilu (former Governor).

Hundreds of supporters had been camping at the court registry since morning amid tight security.

Lawyer Dan Maanzo said the petition was filed online Monday morning.

“The hard copies will now be brought so that they can be stamped but the online one is already with the court,” he said but declined to provide a copy or reveal the main grounds in the petition.

“No I can’t go into those details because the Chief Justice will say I have started to prosecute the case outside court,” he said.

Anyone wishing to file a petition in the Supreme Court against Ruto’s victory has until 2pm Monday which is the deadline for the 7-day window since the declaration of the results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Ruto was declared president-elect on Monday, scraping past Odinga with a margin of less than two percentage points, after an anxious days-long wait for the results of the August 9 vote.

The outcome has been challenged not only by Odinga’s camp but also, in a bizarre twist, by four out of seven commissioners at the election body that oversaw the vote.

“We want to see justice done so that peace can be found,” 77-year-old Odinga said at his Nairobi home after a meeting with religious leaders.

“We have decided to use the law to go before the Supreme Court and table our evidence to show that it was not an election but a joke.”

The veteran opposition leader has now been defeated in all five presidential votes he has contested, even though this year he ran with the backing of outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta and the weight of the ruling party behind him.

No presidential poll outcome has gone uncontested in Kenya since 2002, and the disputes have led to bloodshed in the past.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court annulled the election after Odinga rejected Kenyatta’s victory. Dozens of people were killed by police in post-poll protests.

The aftermath of this year’s court decision is being keenly watched as a test of democratic maturity in East Africa’s richest economy.

Kenya’s worst electoral violence occurred after the 2007 vote, when more than 1,100 people died in bloodletting between rival tribes.

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