Kenya's Supreme Court berates Electoral Commission as it explains its annulment of election

Justice Maraga said the quality of the election was important

There is a terse calm in Kenya’s capital Nairobi as the Supreme Court reads out its reasons for the historic ruling that annulled the country’s August 8 elections.

There had been demonstrations across the country in the buildup to Wednesday’s reading of the full verdict and security had been ramped up,with several areas around the Supreme Court cordoned off.

Chief Justice of Kenya, David Maraga indicated that only parts of the ruling would be read due to its volume and also announced the absence of Justice Smoking Wanjala, one of the judges who ruled in favour of Raila Odinga’s NASA party to void the election.

In his verdict,Chief Justice Maraga said he was convinced that the respondents had made a compelling case regarding the lack of quality of the process carried out by the IEBC,thereby putting its final results in question.

“In an election as important as that of the president,is quality not as important as quantity? “We were left wondering whether the critical documents be considered genuine with no security features”?

"Why would a presiding officer fail to append a signature to a document that he/she was key in preparing”?He further asked in his ruling.

“Whether be it about numbers, or laws, at the end of the day, elections must reflect the true will of the people”

Deputy Chief Justice Judge Philomena Mwilu criticised the election board for refusing to comply with court orders to open its computer servers.

“Noncompliance or failure by the board to do as ordered must be held against it.” Justice Mwilu also revealed the absence of all tally forms by the IEBC was improper.

She also raised issues about how arrangements made by the IEBC and telecom companies to transmit scanned tally sheets failed as over 11,000 polling stations did not have access to internet to complete this process.

“The (board) cannot therefore be said to have verified the results,” It is an inexcusable contravention of the election act,” that the forms were not quickly available, she said, noting officials said thousands of forms from polling stations were still unavailable four days after the official results were announced.

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