Kenyatta urges for calm after Supreme Court ruling

President Uhuru Kenyatta during campaign rally

"For the first time in the history of African democratisation, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular election of a president".

The country's electoral commission had already declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the victor of last month's election, with 54.3 percent of the vote in a contest were almost 80 percent of Kenya's 19 million registered voters were said to have cast ballots.

The decision to cancel the result, the first of its kind in Kenya's history, sets up a new race for the presidency between Kenyatta and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga.

In his remarks immediately after the ruling, Mr. Odinga, who was in court together with his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and other opposition leaders, congratulated the Supreme Court on the historic ruling.

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He said, "We have no faith in the electoral commission as now constituted".

Mr Odinga's petition against President Kenyatta in 2013 was thrown out by the Supreme Court, where President Kenyatta's lawyers submitted that the court did not have a precedent to draw from and urged the court to keep the tradition of maintaining the status quo.

Hundreds of Raila Odinga's supporters have turned up on the streets of Nairobi to celebrate the Court's ruling.

The election sparked days of sporadic protests, in which at least 28 people were killed.

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But on Friday, Kenya's Supreme Court tossed out the results and ordered new voting within 60 days. "We clearly have a problem", he said, referring to the judiciary. He says the judges should know they are dealing with an incumbent president. And the European Observer Mission said that they had not observed any signs of "centralized or localized manipulation" of the vote.

The court ruled 4-2 in Odinga's favor, saying the electoral commission committed "illegalities and irregularities".

Judge David Maranga, announcing the verdict, said: "The declaration [of Kenyatta's win] is invalid, null and void".

Ms Schaake said the monitors were awaiting the full details of the ruling.

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"We will not share power", Odinga said, speaking in Kiswahili outside a church in Nairobi. The vote was widely praised by worldwide observers - including John Kerry, a former USA secretary of state - who called Mr Odinga to accept defeat. Elections and their results tend to be controversial in many African countries. If it turns out that the computerised vote tallying was seriously manipulated, the opposition will get a boost.


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