Kenya: the ICJ commends the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify the Presidential Election in fair proceedings

Today the Supreme Court of Kenya took the unprecedented step of voiding the presidential elections held on 8 August 2017 citing the failure by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to adhere to constitutionally mandated processes.

The ICJ commends the Supreme Court of Kenya for adjudication of a sensitive case at a high professional standards amidst a charged political atmosphere.

The ICJ in partnership with the Africa Judges and Jurists Forum (AJJF) sent a mission of three distinguished judges to observe the proceedings during the presidential petition in Kenya.

The delegation consisted of Retired Chief Justice Earnest Sakala (Zambia), Justice Dingake (Botswana) and Justice Chinhengo (Zimbabwe).

The mission’s observations will be publicized in due course.

Kenya held national elections on 8 August 2017 administered by the IEBC.

The IEBC subsequently announced that Uhuru Kenyatta had won the elections with a 54% majority.

The opposition National Super Alliance Coalition led by Raila Odinga filed an election petition alleging serious irregularities in the tabulation and transmission of the results of the elections and asking the court to nullify the results and order fresh elections.

The Supreme Court heard the election petitition culminating in the decision that was handed down today.

According to the observers, the court conducted the hearing in a manner consistent with the rule of law and that adhered to the Kenyan Constitution and international principles of a fair trial.

The Court gave acted fully as a competent, independent and impartial judicial body.

“The decision taken by the Supreme Court today is precedent setting. It places a cost on the election management body for apparently failing to adhere to constitutional imperatives and the normative framework governing the conduct of elections,” said Arnold Tsunga, Africa Director of the ICJ.

“Elections are a high stakes subject in Kenya, as elsewhere in the world. Previous elections have shown that violence and multiple human rights violations increase during the election period. We therefore encourage the political leaders in Kenya to accept the court’s verdict and to encourage their supporters to exercise maximum restraint and tolerance as the country braces itself for fresh elections,” he added.

Finally the ICJ urges the authorities in Kenya and the IEBC to quickly comply with and implement the court’s judgement.


Arnold Tsunga, ICJ Director for Africa, t: +27716405926 ; e:

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