News / Africa

Kenya PM Filing Election Challenge Saturday

Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election, speaks to the media in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election, speaks to the media in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
The runner-up in Kenya’s presidential election is filing a petition with the Supreme Court Saturday challenging the results.  The party of Prime Minister Raila Odinga says it will present to the court evidence of electoral fraud. Odinga’s CORD alliance has refused to accept the first-round victory of Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta.

Results released last week by the country’s electoral commission, the IEBC, declared Mr. Kenyatta had won 50.07 percent of the vote, just enough to avoid a run-off with Mr. Odinga.

The vote counting was delayed by a breakdown in an electronic transmission system. 

CORD has raised concerns about other alleged irregularities, including mismatched numbers coming from polling stations and cases where the number of votes cast in some areas exceeded the number of registered voters.

James Orengo, a senior member of the alliance, told reporters Friday they will file the petition challenging the results on Saturday, the last day they are legally allowed.

"But I want to assure the public and everybody in the media, that our petition was ready and all the documentation had been prepared and affidavits ready for filing," he said.

The party originally intended to file the petition on Friday, but said it delayed because it did not want the case being mixed up with other petitions being filed by other organizations at the same time.

"The reason for the postponement of the filing is merely strategic, it has nothing to do with the content of the petition and other accompanying documents," said Orengo.

The Africa Center for Open Governance, a civil society group, is also planning to file a petition Saturday with the Supreme Court challenging the conduct of the elections.

The group has raised numerous concerns about the vote, including the expulsion of party agents from tallying centers during counting.

After the Supreme Court receives the petitions, it will have 14 days to make a ruling.

Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition has said it will accept the court’s decision.

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