Published: Wed, October 25, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Court dismisses case to force Raila contest in repeat poll

Court dismisses case to force Raila contest in repeat poll

Last month, the chief justice said judges have received repeated threats since the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's win in the August 8 polls and ordered a fresh election.

The court will hear an urgent petition by human rights activists arguing Kenya is not ready for the vote.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was declared the victor in the August vote, wants to press ahead with the election despite concerns about its credibility.

The court hearing will take place even though Kenya's interior ministry has declared Wednesday and Thursday to be public holidays.

The Supreme Court nullified Kenyatta's August win over illegalities and irregularities and ordered for a fresh election scheduled Thursday.

According to the legislator's lawyer Kibe Mungai, he is taking the dispute to the Supreme Court.

It is asking for an entirely new election which could extend the process by months.

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His remarks came after opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the repeat exercise and called on his supporters not to participate in the repeat polls.

He says nothing has changed since the original election.

There are fears that if the election goes ahead - with the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta as the only remaining candidate - there will be widespread violence.

"It must be noted that any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in compliance with the Constitution is unlawful under Article 3 (2) of the Constitution and would invite severe sanction."

Politics in Kenya is often split along tribal lines, with Mr Odinga - a Luo - and Mr Kenyatta - a Kikuyu - continuing a dynastic rivalry which began with their fathers after the country won independence from Britain.

IEBC commissioners, they argue, are serving partisan interests and Chairman Wafula Chebukati has publicly admitted that he can not guarantee credible election.

Another question is around how a potential constitutional crisis would be handled if the election is not held within the timeframe. Many Kenyans on social media saw the shooting as intimidation of the Supreme Court before it hears the crucial case on Wednesday.

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