Kenya’s Supreme Court to hear 11th hour petition on election rerun

Kenya’s Supreme Court Tuesday, said it would meet on the eve of the country’s presidential election re-run to hear a last-minute petition challenging the ballot.

A little reminder: The Supreme Court in Kenya ordered a re-run of the presidential poll, citing irregularities in the collation. An audit, however, said there were no “computer manipulations”. Later on, a Kenyan election official flees, condemning the preparations for the rerun.

Back to the matter: Chief Justice David Maraga, who presided over the annulling of August’s original flawed vote, said he will hear a petition filed by human rights activists arguing Kenya is not ready for Thursday’s re-run.

Matter to be heard at 10.00 am (07:00 GMT) tomorrow,” Maraga said in a statement.

Maraga said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as well as “all the Presidential candidates” must submit their written submissions before the hearing.

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear this latest petition, filed on Sunday, raises the possibility that Thursday’s election may be delayed.

We are hoping they will cancel elections on October 26,” said activist Khelef Khalifa of Muslims for Human Rights.

He filed the petition alongside Samwel Mohochi of the Kenya branch of the International Commission of Jurists, and Gacheke Gachihi — also known as Nahashon Kamau — of the Mathare Social Justice Centre in Nairobi.

The petitioners cite several arguments for delaying the vote.

They include Odinga’s withdrawal from the re-run two weeks ago which they say means the vote must be cancelled and the IEBC chairman’s own admission last week that “a free, fair and credible election” could not be guaranteed as the constitution demands.

They argue that a delay of up to 90 days should be ordered by the Supreme Court.

The opposition, as well as some analysts, have also called for a delay, but Kenyatta has insisted the vote should go ahead as planned despite Odinga’s boycott and ongoing protests.

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