Supreme court upholds Kenyatta’s victory

Five people were killed in clashes in Nairobi and the lakeside town of Kisumu on the night of 30 March after the supreme court upheld Uhuru Kenyatta's election as president in the 4 March polls.

The court ruled against prime minister Raila Odinga's challenge to the validity of Kenyatta's win, triggering a series of protests by Odinga's supporters in his home town of Kisumu as well as in the Dandora slums of Nairobi.

However the protests were isolated and short-lived, and were not in any way comparable to the violence that followed the disputed 2007 polls in which over 1,100 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Odinga says he accepts the court’s verdict but regrets that some of the evidence produced by his lawyers had been disregarded. Prior to lodging his case on 16 March, Odinga claimed that Kenya’s Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) presided over a "sham" electoral process which unfairly denied him victory.

He received 43.41 per cent of the vote compared to the 50.07 per cent of Kenyatta, who is due to be sworn in as president on 9 April.

Odinga had accused the IEBC of vote-rigging, helping Kenyatta to avoid a run-off against his rival. However the supreme court found that Kenyatta was elected validly and that the election was conducted legally. The court is expected to release a detailed judgement in mid-April.

Following the judgement Kenyatta appeared on television, vowing to work with and serve all Kenyans "without any discrimination whatsoever".

In addition, Kenyatta has frequently promised to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague where he faces charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in post-election violence in late 2007 and early 2008. Kenyatta denies the allegations, as does his running mate and future deputy president of Kenya, William Ruto, who faces similar charges.

Despite the 30 March post-election violence, the traditionally-volatile Kenya has been largely peaceful following the 2013 polls. In the period before, during and after the elections, politicians regularly encouraged their supporters to refrain from violence; protests have been banned, and police continue to maintain tight security.

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