Kenya Election Results Declared 'Null and Void'
Nairobi is braced for unrest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2017 5:12 AM CDT
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A lawyer arrives past a line of police guarding the building ahead of an expected verdict in the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday.   (Ben Curtis)
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(Newser) – Kenya's Supreme Court on Friday nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's election win last month and called for new elections within 60 days, shocking a country that had been braced for further protests by opposition supporters. No Kenya presidential election has ever been nullified. "It's a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of Africa," said opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who had challenged the vote. "For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular election of a president. This is a precedent-setting ruling."

The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favor of the petition filed by Odinga. He has claimed that the electronic voting results were hacked into and manipulated in favor of Kenyatta, who had won a second term with 54% of the vote, the AP reports. The election "was not conducted in accordance to the constitution and applicable law, rendering the results invalid, null and void," Chief Justice David Maraga said. The court did not place any blame on Kenyatta or his party. Security was tight around the courthouse with armed police and barricaded streets. Human rights groups have said police killed at least 24 people in unrest that followed the Aug. 8 vote. The tortured body of the election's IT chief was found in July.

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