“Please repeat after me: I...”“I Uhuru Kenyatta...”Those words from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in November concluded an unusually drawn-out 2017 election season.After the country’s August polls in which Kenyatta was declared the winner over Raila Odinga, the Supreme Court annulled the presidential election citing irregularities in the transmission of election results.
“The presidential election held on 8th August 2017 was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared results invalid, null and void.”
So the court ordered the Electoral Commission or IEBC to hold a new poll within 60 days. After continued demands for IEBC reforms Odinga decided to withdraw from the October 26th rerun election,and urged his supporters to boycott the polls.Kenyatta was announced the winner of the second election, Odinga argued that Kenyatta lacked legitimacy given the low voter turnout. Two petitions field in the Supreme Court challenged the decision, but this time the court upheld the election results.Odinga responded by announcing the creation of a resistance movement and threatening to conduct his own inauguration, the Attorney General had this response.
“Criminal law of the Republic of Kenya, in article 40 of the penal code provides or stipulates that that sort of process, is high treason.It is high treason in respect of the person so involved and any other person facilitating that process.”
Many fear the installation of Odinga as an alternative president could increase tension in a country,where more than 70 people were killed during election related violence. Kenyans now wait to see if their newly elected officials will use 2018 to promote peace and fulfill their campaign promises.
Jill Craig VOA News Nairobi