Kenya presidential election cancelled by Supreme Court

President Uhuru Kenyatta's lawyer Fred Ngatia

Kenya's veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for members of Kenya's electoral commission to be jailed after the country's Supreme Court ruled earlier on Friday that last month's elections be annulled on the basis they were not conducted according to the Constitution and Elections Act.

"Taking the totality of the entire evidence, we are satisfied that the elections were not conducted in the accordance to the dictates of the Constitution", said Chief Justice David Maraga, who described the results as "invalid, null and void".

According to official results announced on August 11, Kenya's sitting president Uhuru Kenyatta was the clear victor of the 2017 elections with 54 percent of the votes.

The majority 4-2 ruling of the six judges on the bench came in response to a petition filed by challenger Raila Odinga, 72, who alleged widespread fraud in the election, including the hacking of the electoral commission's computer system.

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"For the first time in history of African democratisation a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular elections for the president". The court said the election commission "committed illegalities and irregularities.in the transmission of results" and will give details in its full ruling within 21 days. "We are ready but can not repeat the election with this commission".

Even before the election results were announced, Odinga said he refused to accept the outcome given the potential for manipulation of the paper forms. And again, I say peace. peace, peace, peace.

In a national address following the court decision, Kenyatta said that while he "personally disagrees" with the ruling, he will "respect it, as much as I disagree with it".

Kenyatta is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president.

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Residents who spoke to Nation vowed to turn out in large numbers during the repeat election which should be held within 60 days from the day of the court decision.

Odinga also contested - and officially lost - an election in 2013, but quelled potential violence by taking his case to court. He polled 8 million votes in August but the repeat will see him win with ten million or more votes, " said Lydia Kiugu.

As news of the court's decision spread, cheers and celebrations could be heard on the streets in parts of the capital, Nairobi.

"A re-run of the election will contribute to more uncertainty and prolong any return to business-as-usual, allowing the focus to shift back to the economy", Khan said. Worldwide election observers have said they saw no interference with the vote.

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However, "the Bangladeshi authorities need to provide protection - they have a legal obligation not to send people back", he said. ARSA has also taken responsibility for the coordinated attacks on 30 police outposts and an army base that took place on Friday.

Three of Kenya's presidents since independence from Britain in 1963 have been Kikuyu and one has been from the Kalenjin tribe. The shilling weakened and Kenya's dollar bonds fell.

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