Kenya 2022: Raila Odinga rejects presidential results, promises to challenge them in court

By Victor Abuso
Posted on Wednesday, 17 August 2022 06:53

Raila Odinga (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Veteran Kenyan politician Raila Odinga has rejected presidential results of 9 August's poll that gave victory to his main competitor, deputy president William Ruto.

Addressing the country on Tuesday in Nairobi, Odinga described the results that gave Ruto a win of 50.49%, compared to his 48.85%, as a travesty and a blatant disregard of the constitution of Kenya.

“We reject these results in totality,” he said.

Odinga  has urged his supporters to maintain peace and calm as his Azimio la Umoja coalition pursues constitutional avenues to invalidate the pronunciations by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati.

“The figures announced by Chebukati are null and void. In our view, there is neither a legally, validly declared winner nor a president-elect,” he added.

Reaction from supporters

Odinga supporters from his political stronghold in Kisumu, western Kenya, have welcomed his move. Many of them say the election was rigged and justice should be served.

“I support Baba [Odinga], whatever he says is right,” John Onyango, a Kisumu resident, tells The Africa Report.

Another supporter, George Ajowi, says: “Odinga’s sentiments have cooled us down, we now depend on the courts to invalidate Ruto’s illegal win.”

However, Josiah Mulama, a taxi driver in Nairobi who voted for Odinga, says he thinks the veteran politician has been unlucky to get and should now retire.

“He should just accept the results. I voted for him, but I don’t want the court to  change the results,” he says.

What is the judicial process?

According to Article 163 (3) of the Kenyan constitution, candidates have to file petitions to challenge the election at the supreme court.

Odinga has until 22 August days to petition the court.

After filing the petition, the petitioner will have 24 hours to serve the parties in the case.

The supreme court judges would then make a decision within 14 days of the filling of the case. If the court orders an annulment, a new vote must be held within 60 days.

“It seems we shall have a tough legal battle,” says Edwin Kegoli, Nairobi based political analyst.

Four dissenting IEBC commissioners speak

Four IEBC commissioners distanced themselves from the presidential results announced on Monday 15 August. They have since given four reasons for the decision.

Led by the IEBC’s deputy chair Juliana Cherera, the four have maintained that the results used to declare Ruto as president elect were opaque.

They accuse IEBC chair Chebulati of hiding the results from them and not consulting them on the decision to announce Ruto as the winner.

Cherera describes the results as a mathematical absurdity that does not add up. “The chairman refused to show us the final  results,” she said.

They also termed the final tabulation of results of all the candidates – 100.01% – as erroneous and explained that according to them 0.01% of votes is almost 142,000 votes, which would have greatly impacted the final result.

“Those results were his own (Chebukati). We were not involved,” Cherera added.

Odinga has praised the four commissioners that joined the electoral body last year, describing them as true patriots.

On Monday, during his victory speech, Ruto praised Chebukati, saying he is a patriotic citizen who stood by the right results despite harassment.

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