News / Africa

Odinga Challenges Defeat at Kenya's Supreme Court

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga (C), flanked by members of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), addresses the media outside his office in Nairobi, March 16, 2013.
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga (C), flanked by members of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), addresses the media outside his office in Nairobi, March 16, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga filed a petition in the Supreme Court Saturday challenging the results of the presidential election in which he came in second place.  Odinga’s supporters rallied at the gates of the courthouse in support of the petition.

 Wearing white t-shirts with the slogan "Democracy on Trial," Odinga’s supporters shouted their call for justice outside the Supreme Court in downtown Nairobi.
 
Protesters rally in the streets in downtown Nairobi on March 16, 2013 to support the petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga challenging the results of the presidential election. (G. Joselow/VOA)Protesters rally in the streets in downtown Nairobi on March 16, 2013 to support the petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga challenging the results of the presidential election. (G. Joselow/VOA)
x
Protesters rally in the streets in downtown Nairobi on March 16, 2013 to support the petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga challenging the results of the presidential election. (G. Joselow/VOA)
Protesters rally in the streets in downtown Nairobi on March 16, 2013 to support the petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga challenging the results of the presidential election. (G. Joselow/VOA)
Police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters early in the day and there were reports of some injuries.  But the crowd later regrouped.
 
They came out in support of Odinga’s CORD coalition, as his lawyers filed a petition challenging the election outcome.
 
Youth leader Andrew Onyango says he feels cheated by election officials who declared Odinga’s rival, Uhuru Kenyatta, the outright winner of the March 4 vote.

"Me personally, you can look at my hand, I voted.  And I still have the ink with me. And I went there at five in the morning and I voted at five in the evening. That is in evidence, commitment and energy. Time wasted. Nobody wants to feel [like] that. They just want to force food in us that we don’t want," said Onyango.

Kenyatta Named Winner of Kenya's Presidential Election
 
  • Supporters of Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate what they perceive is an election win for him in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
  • Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta waves at supporters after winning the elections in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
  • Supporters of presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate what they perceive is an election win for him in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
  • President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta displays the certificate from Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declaring him the winner of the country's presidential election in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.
  • Riot police walk past residents in Nyallenda slums in Kenya's western town of Kisumu, 350km (218 miles) from the capital Nairobi as tension arises after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of presidential election, Mar. 9, 2013.
  • Demonstrators chant slogans in Kenya's western town of Kisumu, 350km (218 miles) from the capital Nairobi as tension arises after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of presidential election, Mar. 9, 2013.
  • Supporters of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga look out from the balconies of a building in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Mar. 9, 2013.

Kenya’s electoral commission, the IEBC, certified Kenyatta after he won 50.07 percent of the vote - just enough to avoid a run-off with Odinga.
 
But the vote counting was marred by significant technical problems, including the complete failure of an electronic transmission system.
 
CORD says it has evidence of other irregularities and cases of fraud during the election, including instances where the number of valid votes cast in certain polling stations exceeded the number of registered voters.
 
Raila Odinga

  • Prime minister, head of the CORD alliance
  • 68 years old, son of Kenya’s first vice president
  • Unsuccessfully ran for president against Mwai Kibaki in 2007
  • Elected to parliament in 1992
  • Charged with treason and detained without trial in the 1980s
In a statement Saturday, Odinga said if he did not challenge the results Kenyans would “lose their faith in elections and in democracy.”
 
He also promised to honor the court’s decision.
 
"I have repeatedly indicated my commitment to respect and abide by the Supreme Court ruling. I invite my brother, honorable Uhuru Kenyatta to publicly do the same," he said.
 
Members of Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition have said the party will respect the Supreme Court’s ruling.
 
Odinga has compared the March elections to the disputed vote in 2007, which he also lost by a narrow margin, and which sparked inter-ethnic violence that killed more than 1,100 people.
 
Politicians from all sides have called for peace, foremost, despite the disputes surrounding the vote.  
 
But some protesters, like Dennis, a Nairobi resident who declined to give a second name, say peace is being imposed at the cost of the truth.
 
"Peace comes from justice also. I can’t say that I want peace and I’m bullying you every time. I don’t want you to receive justice. It’s not good. You cannot force peace. Peace is out of a goodwill," he said.
 
In addition to Odinga, several civil society groups are also challenging the conduct of the elections.
 
The constitution gives the Supreme Court two weeks to make a decision.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs