Tension in Kenya: after the controversial decision of the electoral court, the opposition candidate will challenge the results

The Kenyan opponent Raila Odinga (REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya) (THOMAS MUKOYA /)

Former Prime Minister and Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga announced on Tuesday that she will challenge the results of the tight presidential election with “all constitutional and legal options” after President William Ruto was declared the winner. Odinga’s ad creates uncertainty in a country where the vote was considered to be the most peaceful.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) announced its defeat in the presidential contest. Later, Odinga replied that the figures should be annulled by the Justice. “In our opinion, there is no legally and validly declared winner or president-elect,” Odinga stated in Nairobi in a message addressed to the nation.

Now the most stable democracy in East Africa faces weeks of wrangling and the possibility of the Supreme Court ordering a new election. Religious and other leaders have called for calm in a country that has a history of post-election violence.

Kenyan Vice President William Ruto after the announcement that he won the general election (REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)
Kenyan Vice President William Ruto after the announcement that he won the general election (REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya) (THOMAS MUKOYA /)

“No one should take the law into their hands”Odinga told his passionate supporters. In Kisumu, a city in his western Kenyan stronghold, some residents said they were tired of taking to the streets and being tear-gassed.

It was the first one Odinga’s presentation since the president of the electoral commission declared Ruto the winner on Monday with almost 50.5% of the vote.

A few minutes before the announcement, four commissioners of the IEBC (made up of seven commissioners and the president), including its vice president, Juliana Cherera, questioned the results of the elections, alleging that the recount was done in an “opaque” manner.

Shortly before Odinga spoke, the four commissioners told reporters that the commission chief’s final tally totaled 100.1% and that the additional votes would have made a “significant difference.” They further said that he did not give them a chance to discuss the results before his statement.

Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition (REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya)
Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition (REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya) (THOMAS MUKOYA /)

“What we saw yesterday was a farce and flagrant disregard for the constitutionOdinga said. The election result is “null and void”, added.

After the declaration of the winner, Odinga has seven days to file an application with the Supreme Court, which will then have 14 days to issue its ruling.

The 77-year-old man appeared last Tuesday for to a presidential election in Kenya for the fifth time, after decades as the perennial opposition candidate, without ever having achieved a victory.

Following his narrow defeat in the elections for 2007, his allegations of alleged fraud unleashed a wave of violence with ethnic overtones that left more than 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced from their homes in Kenya.

in august 2017, his allegations of irregularities in the electoral process were recognized for the first time by the Supreme Court, which declared the vote null and ordered its repetition. However, Odinga boycotted that second election considering that the necessary reforms were not implemented.

After an intense electoral campaign, Millions of Kenyans voted on the 9th in general elections that took place calmlyexcept for a few isolated incidents.

A protester with a poster of Raila Odinga (REUTERS / Baz Ratner)
A protester with a poster of Raila Odinga (REUTERS / Baz Ratner) (BAZ RATNER /)

However, the scrutiny was marred by accusations of fraud by supporters and politicians of both Ruto and Odinga formationsalthough they did not present clear and convincing evidence.

If the Supreme Court does not prevent it, Ruto will become the fifth president of Kenya since independence in 1963, succeeding Uhuru Kenyatta.who is serving the second and last five-year term allowed by the Constitution.

(With information from AP and EFE)

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