Kenya’s court to mar or make peace

30 Mar

Raila Odinga


Uhuru Kenyatta

By I Mizuh in Rome, Italy

The post-election peace that has been enjoyed in Kenya since the 4th March elections would either be broken or boosted today following the Supreme Court final ruling.

Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the 4th Kenya president with a 50.07 per cent wee win, but Raila Odinga, his main rival and runners-up with 43.28 per cent immediately challenged the results.In an appeal suit filed in to the court, the Odinga camp pinpointed irregularities during vote counting, which was equally delayed by a technical glitch with the electronic counting machine. In an earlier court order the results of 22 polling stations were to be manually counted again.

Today’s highly awaited final decision would either confirm Uhuru’s victory or demand a runoff incase where no candidate hit the absolute majority thresh mark or rerun of the elections if the results are considered fraudulent. If the court choose to legalise Uhuru’s 9th March initial victory, the credibility of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, IEBC, would standout. Uhuru on his part would continue working on his plan of actions, while awaiting his official taking of oath ceremony. Odinga might be disappointed with the outcome, but as a man of the people he might give in for peace. Odinga’s supporters might react angrily to the decision, but nothing much is expected, since they would be no point crying over spilled milk.

However, if the court instead opt for a re-run of the questionable 22 polling stations that might complicate the already overstayed results. An envisaged victory for Odinga in any rerun would push the entire election into a runoff, since neither candidate would be able to clock the absolute majority 50 percent decisive mark.

The other decision the court might rule, is to completely annul the entire election results and to call for a fresh elections.This last option is unlikely to be brought to the fore, since organising another election is quite expensive and time consuming as well.

Elections are the means through which all of us can play a part in a political affairs, according to Peter Joyce (2010) in Understanding Politics. The author equally writes that elections are key aspects of politics. Therefore, whatever, the court’s ruling turn out to be, the challenge would be thrown back to the electorates and Kenyans in general. They have so far put up and exercise a high degree of political maturity. It is up to them all to either take the court decision as it shall be given and continue with their everyday lives or push for more justice and transparency. Violence or street confrontation is the last thing anyone even Odinga and Uhuru would want at this point of a very long race of democracy.

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in News Analysis


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