International Politics

William Ruto is Kenya’s Duly Elected President – Supreme Court

The seven Supreme Court of Kenya judges have issued their verdict on the consolidated presidential election petitions today.

Chief Justice Martha Koome says that the court will issue a summary of the ruling today and then give the full judgment after 21 days.

Here are the highlights of the findings on the issues the court considered.

Issue 1:
Whether the technology deployed by the IEBC for the conduct of the 2022 general elections met the standards of integrity, verifiability, security and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results.

Order: We are not persuaded that the technology deployed failed to meet the standards of Article 86A on integrity.

Issue 2:
Whether there was interference with the uploading and transmission of Forms 34A from the polling stations to the IEBC Public Portal.

Order: Court finds no credible evidence to prove that anyone accessed, intercepted or changed the voter results forms loaded on a public portal by the IEBC.

Issue 3:
Whether there was a difference between Forms 34A uploaded on the IEBC Public Portal and Forms 34A received at the National Tallying Centre and Forms 34A issued to the Agents at the Polling Stations.

Order: Supreme Court finds no significant differences captured between the forms 34A uploaded on the public portal and the physical forms 34A delivered to the national tallying centre that would have affected the overall outcome of the presidential election.

Supreme Court finds petitioners presented fake logs to prove alleged interference in public portal. Some of the logs were from 2017 or “outright forgeries.”

Supreme Court lampoons witnesses in support of the presidential election petitions after it found some swore false information before the court. Advocates who administered the affidavits warned for standing by false evidence, which it termed “double hearsay.”

Lawyer Julie Soweto lampooned for the sensational presentation of false evidence in court. Supreme Court says it was satisfied with IEBC admission of the inadvertent similar serial numbering of Kiems kits.

Issue 4:
Whether the postponement of Gubernatorial Elections in Kakamega and Mombasa Counties, Parliamentary elections in Kitui Rural, Kacheliba Rongai and Pokot South Constituencies and electoral wards in Nyaki West in North Imenti Constituency and Kwa Njenga in Embakasi South Constituency resulted in voter suppression to the detriment of the Petitioners in Petition No. E005 of 2022.

Order: Supreme Court finds no deliberate move to suppress voter turnout after it postponed some elections in parts of the country. It says the IEBC should have been more diligent, but there is no empirical evidence to support petitioners’ claims.

Issue 5:
Whether there were unexplainable discrepancies between the votes cast for presidential candidates and other elective positions.

Order: Supreme Court finds that there is no evidence of unexplained discrepancies between votes cast in various elective positions across the country and those cast in favour of the president. Fraud must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Issue 6:
Whether the IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results in accordance with Article 138 (3) (c) and 138 (10) of the Constitution Order:

Order: Supreme Court finds the power to verify and tally presidential election results vests not in the chairperson but in the commission. In line with earlier court decisions – the chairperson cannot arrogate to himself the power to verify and tally the results to the exclusion of others.

“We note that aside from their 11th-hour walkout, the four commissioners have not placed before this court any document to show that the election result was altered.”

Court says dissenting commissioners did not explain participating in an opaque election. Court says it cannot nullify an election based on a “last minute boardroom rapture” of IEBC. However, the court finds that there are serious governance issues in the IEBC which must be explained.

“Are we to nullify an election on account of a last minute boardroom rupture? This we cannot do,” Chief Justice Martha Koome said.

Issue 7:
Whether the declared President-elect attained 50%+1 vote of all the votes cast in accordance with Article 138 (4) of the Constitution.

Order: Court says the judges are not persuaded by the amicus curie Law Society of Kenya to review their position on the exclusion of rejected ballots in computing the total votes cast.

Court finds that the declared president-elect William Ruto attained 50%+1 of the votes and was validly declared. Rules rejected votes cannot be included in the tally of votes cast.

Issue 8:
Whether there were irregularities and illegalities of such magnitude as to affect the final result of the Presidential Election.

Order: We are of the view that the pointed irregularities were not of such magnitude to affect the outcome of the Presidential election.

Issue 9:
What reliefs and orders can the Court grant/issue?

Orders:

Court dismisses the presidential election petitions.

Judges declare the election of William Ruto as valid.

They rule each party bears its own legal costs.

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