Kenya’s electoral commission has announced that a fresh presidential vote will be held on October the 17th. Last week the Supreme Court cancelled the results of the country’s August poll which the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won.
The Kenyan Judges and Magistrates’ Association as well as civil society organisations in the country, have criticised what they term as “veiled threats” made by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the judiciary after the Supreme Court overturned his election victory on Friday. ‘
They condemned what they termed as Kenyatta’s assault on decisional independence of the judiciary.
The Supreme Court of Kenya on Friday overturned Kenyatta’s victory over what it termed widespread irregularities in the tallying and transmission of results.
Kenyatta has since pledged to respect the court’s decision, but has criticised the Supreme Court judges, terming them as crooks.
While Kenyatta initially said he would respect the ruling, he has since criticised the Supreme Court judges, referring to them as “crooks.”
Kenyatta has vowed to “fix” the judiciary if he is re-elected.
His attacks on the court, have received condemnation from the judges and magistrates’ association as well as civil society organisations.
Chairperson for Muslims for Human Rights, Khelef Khalifa says, “These statements signal a tendency towards authoritarian rule which must be resisted.”
International election observers had given the just-concluded elections a clean bill of health, and urged Odinga to accept the outcome or move to court.
Focus has now shifted to the electoral commission, which the court found to have failed or neglected to conduct elections within the law.
Kenyatta says, “Let the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) do their job. Let them declare the date and Raila let us meet at the ballot.”
Vice Chair of the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Njonjo Mue says, “There is no point of going back to the polls and having the same mess as August 8th. If the IEBC is incapable of running a free, fair and credible election, then the IEBC has to go.”
There are also questions on whether international observers failed the Kenyan electorate. The countdown to the 60-day deadline within which Kenya must hold fresh elections continues.
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Let the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) do their job. Let them declare the date and Raila let us meet at the ballot.”
– By Sarah Kimani