Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta publicly rebuked the country’s Supreme Court on Thursday, saying its decision to annul the result of last month’s election amounted to a “coup.”
“What happened in our country is nothing short of what Kenya has so successfully avoided over the past 53 years of our independence, and what has happened in many other African countries where we have seen coups by the army coming to overthrow the government,” Kenyatta said in a televised address.
“But today, for the first time in history we have seen a coup here in Kenya being made by those people in court. It’s a coup, there’s nothing else you can call it. Let’s call it what it is.”
The court upheld a petition by veteran opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who said the re-election of President Kenyatta on August 8 was fraudulent. It ordered a re-run of the election, which is now scheduled for October 26. The re-run had originally been scheduled for October 17.
In presenting its reasons for annulling last month’s election, the court on Wednesday condemned the voting authority for failing to give the court full access to its computer servers.
Justice Philomena Mwilu said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) refusal to provide access left the court “no choice but to accept the petitioner’s claims that the IEBC’s IT system was infiltrated and compromised, and the data therein interfered with, or IEBC’s officials themselves interfered with the data.”
The court criticized the independent voting body for failing to provide information on the IT system’s firewall configuration, among other court requests.
Opposition supporters demonstrated nearby as the court read its statement. Hours before, police had secured and closed some roads around the courthouse.
The IEBC had declared that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won the election, getting 54% of the votes to Odinga’s 45%.
But Kenya’s Supreme Court threw out the results of the contentious vote earlier this month after Odinga claimed the result had been electronically tampered with.
The ruling marked the first time a court in Africa has nullified the re-election of a sitting leader.-CNN