Kenya Supreme Court rules no foul play in 2022 elections and upholds Ruto’s win

·2-min read
© Reuters/Monicah Mwangi

Kenya's Supreme Court has upheld William Ruto as the fifth president following the 9 August polls. Judges unanimously agreed that there were no discrepancies, irregularities, nor interferences as alleged in a petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga. The ruling puts an end to weeks of tension in the country.

“We declare the election of the first respondent [William Ruto] as president elect,” read Chief Justice Martha Koome when giving today’s verdict at the Supreme Court of Kenya in Nairobi.

Ruto will be sworn in on 13 September.

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate garnered 7,176,141 votes (50.49 percent), defeating Azimio party's candidate Raila Odinga who won 6,942,930 votes, representing (48.85 percent).

Odinga, filed a petition to Kenya's Supreme Court last month, claiming he had "enough evidence" to show he had in fact won the election.

The veteran politician said that he respects the opinion of the court “although we vehemently disagree with their decision today”.

“We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine grounds and occasion resulted in unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims”, he wrote in a statement.

This was Odinga’s fifth unsuccessful bid to become president, and, at the age of 77, the final attempt.

Judges spent the last two weeks sifting through boxes of evidence to establish if any irregularities were substantial enough to nullify the election, as was the case with the August 2017 presidential poll, which Odinga also challenged.

Judge Koome said the technology used by the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) met the standards of "integrity, verifiability, security and transparency".

Any "irregularities were not of such magnitude as to affect the final results of the presidential election", she said.

Odinga's 72-page petition alleged hackers broke into IEBC servers and uploaded doctored result forms, but the claim was dismissed by the court.

The chief justice said the postponement of elections in some areas did not result in voter suppression to the detriment of Odinga.

"Consequently we find that the petitioners did not present a water-tight case to warrant the setting aside of the presidential election,” Koome concluded.

“Even if we say there are no winners and losers, even if we say that the winners are the Constitution and the people of Kenya, the truth is that some 6 million Kenyans will not be happy today,” said Philomena Mwilu, the deputy chief justice of Kenya, at the closing of the ruling.

On Sunday, both Ruto and Odinga who had visited Nakuru and Mt Kenya East regions committed to respecting the supreme Court decision and called for peace.