Why Kenya Supreme Court upheld Ruto’s victory

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Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld William Ruto’s presidential win in a judgment that dismissed opposition leader Raila Odinga’s accusations of cheating.

Chief Justice Martha Koome, who heads the seven-member Supreme Court, left no ambiguity about the court’s position on key arguments brought by Odinga’s team and other complainants.

She dismissed some affidavits alleging that polling stations results forms had been tampered with describing it as “double hearsay.

“Some of the (computer) logs presented as evidence … were either from logs arising from the 2017 election or were outright forgeries,” she said.

Koome raised the possibility of perjury, noting that two people who filed affidavits allegedly on behalf of polling stations agents had not spoken to the agents.

Soon after the judgement, Odinga tweeted that he would respect the ruling even though he disagreed with it, easing fears that Kenya would see any repeat of the violence that followed disputed votes in 2007 and 2017.

Several public figures and anti-corruption campaigners welcomed the judgment, saying it bolstered the court’s reputation for independence.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Ruto on his election victory and said Washington commended him and other candidates for abiding by the Supreme Court’s ruling. “We look forward to enhancing [our] partnership with President Ruto and his new government,” Blinken said in a statement.

There were no immediate signs of protest in Odinga’s stronghold of Kisumu city or the low-income neighbourhoods of Nairobi that traditionally support the left-wing politician.

“There is nothing we can do, the judgment has been made,” Geoffrey Omondi, a 33-year-old electrical engineer who supported Odinga, said.

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