NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled that William Ruto was properly elected president, dismissing several petitions seeking to annul the result of the 9 August election.
His rival, Raila Odinga, and others had alleged that massive fraud, including tampering with results forms, had taken place.
Mr Ruto garnered 50.5% of the vote in the closely fought election.
The 55-year-old will be sworn in as the country’s fifth president next week.
The eight petitions challenging the elections were all dismissed. The court found some were based on forged documents and “sensational information”, Chief Justice Martha Koome said in a unanimous decision on behalf of the seven judges.
No credible evidence that the electronic voting transmission system had been tampered with by “a middle man” was presented, she said.
Ms Koome also said that Mr Ruto had met the constitutional threshold of garnering 50%+1 of votes cast.
The ruling ends a protracted election dispute that started after polls closed last month.
Mr Odinga’s team had used the dissent of four of the seven electoral commissioners – who disowned the poll results because they had fallen out with the chairman – to bolster his case.
But the court, while noting the “dysfunction” of the commission in managing its internal affairs, said it was not convinced that the claims of the chairman running a one-man show was enough to undermine the election.
“Are we to nullify the outcome of an election on the basis of a last-minute boardroom rupture whose details remain scanty?” the judges asked.
Here is how the court decided:
- 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. (Unanimous. Chief Justice Martha Koome, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Mohammed K Ibrahim, Njoki Ndung’u, Dr Smokin Wanjala, Isaac Lenaola, William Ouko).
- There was no interference with the uploading and transmission of Forms 34A from the polling stations to the IEBC Public Portal. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- There was no significant difference between Forms 34A uploaded on the IEBC Public Portal and the Forms 34A received at the National Tallying Centre, and Forms 34A issued to the Agents at the Polling Stations. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- 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 did not result in voter suppression to the detriment of Raila Odinga. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- There were no unexplainable discrepancies between the votes cast for presidential candidates and other elective positions. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- The IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results in accordance with Article 138 (3) (c) and 138 (10) of the Constitution. The power to tally and verify not in the chairperson of IEBC but the commission. Four commissioners took part in the tallying until only at the last minute. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- The declared President-elect attained 50%+1 vote of all the votes cast in accordance with Article 138 (4) of the Constitution. Rejected ballots cannot be used in the tally of this constitutional threshold. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- There were no irregularities and illegalities of such magnitude as to affect the final result of the Presidential Election. ((Unanimous. Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
- Reliefs and orders: William Ruto was validly elected. ((Koome, Mwilu, Ibrahim, Njoki, Wanjala, Lenaola, Ouko).
Additional Reporting: BBC