Science

Kenya presidential election cancelled by Supreme Court

Kenya presidential election cancelled by Supreme Court

Kenya's Supreme Court on Friday annulled the result of recent presidential elections, saying the electoral board committed "irregularities and illegalities".

"The declaration [of Kenyatta's win] is invalid, null and void", Judge David Maranga said of the latest election.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday faulted the Supreme Court for nullifying his win, but said he will respect the ruling and seek a new mandate from the people of Kenya in a fresh election. And again, I say peace.

In his address after the ruling, Odinga said he had "no faith" in the electoral commission.

"They can not. Kenyans will decide, and that is the nature of democracy".

Speaking later at a rally, he also condemned the global election monitors who said there had been no major issues.

The Chief Justice said the verdict was backed by four of the six Supreme Court judges.

Odinga had claimed the country's election commission's IT system had been hacked to manipulate the election results.

Odinga, a longtime opposition candidate and the son of Kenya's first vice president, had unsuccessfully challenged the results of the 2013 vote that Kenyatta won.

The run up to the vote was marked by court challenges over voting procedures and fears over the effectiveness and credibility of the IEBC, whose management was only appointed in January.

The legal ruling paves the way for a new race for the presidency between Kenyatta and Odinga. A similar appeal after the last election was wholly rejected by the Supreme Court.

The son of Kenya's first vice president, Odinga was heir to one of its foremost political dynasties and de facto leader of the Luo people in the west, an area that has long felt neglected by central government. A lot of them actually belong in jail.

It is the first time in Kenya's history a presidential election result has been cancelled.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had said there was a hacking attempt but it failed.

Two weeks ago, Odinga made good his threat to contest the re-election of Kenyatta at the last polls when his lawyers filed a petition with the Supreme Court.

The court called for a new election within 60 days. The commission later said it will shuffle some staff and ensure any members who violated the law will be brought to justice.