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Kenya Supreme Court validates Ruto’s election as president

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Kenya’s Supreme Court has unanimously validated the 9 August election of the country’s Vice President, William Ruto as the president-elect.

In a ruling endorsed by all the seven justices of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Martha Koome said the case of the opposition leader, Raila Odinga lacked merit and confirmed that Ruto won by 50.5 percent as against Odinga’s 48.8 percent.

Ruto will take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta on 13 September.

Odinga, who failed to secure the presidency on his fifth attempt, along with six other parties, petitioned the court to nullify Ruto’s win, alleging there were massive irregularities that compromised the fairness of the poll.

Justice Koome delivered an abridged version of the court’s decision and assured that the full judgment will be handed down within 21 days.

While the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Wafula Chebukati defended the integrity of the election, four of the body’s other six members distanced themselves from his pronouncement, citing a lack of transparency over the count. A group of 5,000 local observers said the results were in line with its own parallel tallies.

Several previous election disputes in Kenya had degenerated into violence, the worst of which occurred in 2007 and claimed the lives of at least 1,100 people. Although the current electoral process has been largely peaceful, investors are watching closely for any potential unrest.

Monday’s ruling is final.

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