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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs