Kenya’s losing presidential candidate, Raila Odinga has dismissed the August 9 election result as “null and void” and said Kenya’s democracy faces a long-running legal crisis.
Vice President William Ruto was officially declared the winner by a narrow margin on Monday.
However, Odinga’s first comments on the result came shortly after four of the seven election commissioners said they stood by their decision the day before to reject the presidential election result, saying the final count process had been “opaque”.
Odinga, who is seeking the presidency for a record fifth time, stated at a news conference on Tuesday that he believed the results issued by Electoral Commission President Wafula Chebukati were invalid and should be reversed in court.
He argued that what we saw on Monday was a travesty and a clear disregard for Kenyan law and the constitution.
Chebukati on Monday declared current vice president William Ruto the winner with 50.49 percent of the vote to Odinga’s 48.5 percent.
Minutes earlier, Independent Elections and Borders Commission (IEBC) vice president Juliana Cherera told media elsewhere that she and three other commissioners had denied the results.
Cherera said the results, which gave Ruto a minimal win, were incorrectly aggregated and accused Chebukati of ignoring her questions about the final record.
Odinga broadcasted the dissident commissioners’ press conference at his own venue before taking the stage.
Bobby Mkangi, a constitutional lawyer, said that if the Supreme Court overturns Chebukati’s ruling, Kenya will face new elections in 60 days, adding that the president-elect would be sworn in within seven days.
He told Al Jazeera that the court process is likely to prevent unrest in the country and violence in the streets.
“The required procedures from the 2007 violence’s lessons were incorporated into the new constitution, according to Mkangi.”
“We have a robust and more independent judiciary. This is the third time the Supreme Court has considered such a petition,” he also said.
Kenya’s deadliest electoral violence came after the 2007 election, when more than 1,100 people died in bloodshed between rival tribes.
In August 2017, the Supreme Court annulled the election after Odinga rejected Kenyatta’s electoral victory. Sadly, dozens of people were killed by police during the post-election protests.