Kenya Election 2022: Odinga likely to go to court …as others celebrate

Kenya has held one of its most nail-biting and controversial elections since one-party rule ended in 1991, as candidates vied for a plethora of seats.

Raila Odinga, 77, is the most unfortunate presidential contender Kenya has ever had. He has run for the presidency five times and lost on each occasion, saying that the elections were stolen from him.

Kenya’s highest court vindicated him after the last election in 2017, when it annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory and ordered that the election be held again.

Mr Odinga boycotted the re-run, saying the groundwork had not been done for a free and fair poll.

He looks set to go to court again after rejecting Deputy President William Ruto’s victory in the August 9 election by the narrow margin of 50.5 per cent to 48.8 per cent.

Mr Odinga’s case is bolstered by the fact that four of the seven Electoral Commissioners – including Vice-Chairperson, Juliana Cherera – took the extraordinary step of rejecting the result.

Ms Cherera said that it was full of “mathematical absurdity that defies logic”, and if one added the percentages – as announced by the Commission’s Chairperson, Wafula Chebukati – the sum came to 100.01 per cent.

But some commentators have said that this was down to a simple rounding error – and have expressed confidence in the result announced by Mr Chebukati.

For the first time ever, the commission, in the interest of transparency, allowed media houses and civil society groups to tally official votes. Results from polling stations were uploaded on the commission’s website for everyone to tabulate.

Significantly, the Elections Observation Group (ELOG), which is made up of civil society organisations, have backed Mr Chebukati, saying that their tally matched the final results and that the “results transmission system worked better than expected”.

But if he takes the legal route, will Mr Odinga be lucky a second time in court or will he be on the losing side? We will know once the Supreme Court hears the case, and makes its ruling. -BBC

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