By James Orji
Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld results declaring William Ruto winner of last month’s presidential elections.
Ruto, 55, won with 50.49 percent of the vote against his rival Raila Odinga’s 48.85 percent, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced in August.
The announcement of the results then descended into chaos in an otherwise peaceful election process when four members of the electoral commission rejected them, declaring the tallying “opaque.”
Odinga, 77, also later disputed the results in the Supreme Court alleging that hackers had accessed the electoral body’s website, deducted his votes, and added them to Ruto’s, among other claims of irregularities.
His party, the Azimio La Umoja (Aspiration to Unite) coalition, claimed it had enough evidence in the petition to prove misconduct by the electoral commission after the August 9 election.
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto and presidential candidate for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Kenya Kwanza political coalition, speaks after being declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential election, at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya August 15, 2022.
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However, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his claims and upheld the results announced by the IEBC.
Chief Justice Martha Koome, delivering the ruling Monday, said the court found no evidence of tampering of results via hacking and that the “IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results in accordance with the provided constitutional law.”
Security was tight ahead of the announcement and Kenya’s security forces are on high alert in areas of the country where violence could break out.
Odinga’s legal team had asked the court to either declare him the winner or order re-election.
This is Odinga’s fifth time running and his third time challenging his loss in presidential elections through the Supreme Court, has filed a case after the last two elections in 2013 and 2017.
In 2017, the Supreme Court made history when it ordered re-election, which was boycotted by Odinga who again lost to incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.