Kenya court blames electoral body for nullified vote

Thursday, 21 September 2017, 05:19:54 AM. Judges say election process was neither 'transparent nor verifiable' but dismiss opposition claims against Kenyatta.

Kenya's Supreme Court has criticised the country's election board for failing to verify official results of last month's presidential election - which were later nullified over "irregularities and illegalities" - before announcing them. 

The court, based in the capital Nairobi, offered a detailed ruling on Wednesday as to why it annulled the August 8 election and ordered a fresh presidential vote on October 17 after opposition leader Raila Odinga challenged the original result.

The election board had said incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won the contest by 1.4 million votes, but the opposition said the country's electronic voting system had been hacked and the results were doctored.

The board overseeing the 2017 vote did not have all the tally forms when they announced results, the court ruled on Wednesday. It also said that some forms lacked security features such as watermarks, signatures or serial numbers, which calls their authenticity into question.

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"The election did not meet the simple test," said Chief Justice David Maraga. "We are unable to validate the result."

Maraga added: "If elections are not seen to be free and fair they can trigger instability. We do not need to look far for examples."

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