Kenya: Raila Odinga challenges presidential election results


Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the results of the country’s August 9 presidential polls in which he lost to Deputy President William Ruto.

“Yes we shall,” Odinga’s lawyer Paul Mwangi said in a text message to Reuters news agency earlier on Monday morning.


Odinga’s political alliance also told local broadcaster NTV that an electric copy of his court challenge had been filed with a physical copy expected to be filed later on Monday.

Reuters reported that a source in Kenya’s judiciary confirmed that the electronic copy had been submitted. “They filed online and they are on the way bringing a physical copy,” the source said.Play Video2:06 min

Results questioned with claims of excess votes

Last week Ruto was declared the winner of the tightly contested poll with 50.49% of the vote, however four out of the seven election commissioners dissented, saying that the tallying of the results had not been transparent. The election officials said the final count added up to 100.01% of submitted votes and asserted that the excess made a “significant difference.”

A second independent tally confirmed Ruto’s victory.

While its not immediately clear on what specific grounds Odinga mounting his challenge, the veteran politician has called the outcome “a travesty and blatant disregard of the constitution.”

Over the years Odinga has contested elections no less than five times and has blamed vote rigging for previous losses. These losses have come at a cost to the people of Kenya. Disputed polls claimed dozens of lives in 2017, and in the worst recent instance, in 2007, 1,200 people died. 

The Supreme Court now has 14 days to make a ruling on the matter.

Shortly after his win at the polls, Ruto said that he would “engage” with any court challenges to his victory.

kb/msh (Reuters, AFP)