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I respect court ruling but disagree! Raila Odinga speaks out after losing poll petition

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader Raila Odinga

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga has said that he respects the opinion of the Supreme Court in regard to dismissing his presidential petition but added that he disagrees with their decision.

In a statement issued shortly after the Supreme Court upheld the election of Deputy President William Ruto as the President-elect of Kenya, Odinga, who was the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate, said he found it incredible that the judges dismissed all the 9 grounds of his petition.

“We have taken note of the decision of the Supreme Court on the Presidential election held on August 9th, 2022. We have always stood for the rule of law and the constitution. In this regard, we respect the opinion of the court although we vehemently disagree with their decision today,” he said on Monday, 05 September 2022

“Our lawyers proffered irrefutable evidence and the facts were on our side, unfortunately the judges saw it otherwise. We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine (9) grounds and occasion resulted to unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims,” he added.

The seven-time presidential candidate said the judgement is by no means the end of his movement.

“In fact it inspires us to redouble our efforts to transform this country into a prosperous democracy where each and every Kenyan can find their full belonging. We thank our supporters and Kenyans across the country for standing with us. We will be communicating in the near future on our plans to continue our struggle for transparency, accountability and democracy,” he added.

The Kenya Supreme Court on Monday upheld the election of William Ruto as the country’s president, dismissing a petition filed by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Raila, alleging fraud and several irregularities, was seeking to overturn the win of Deputy President William Ruto of UDA as the President-elect following the August 9 polls. Ruto was declared winner of the elections with over 7.1 million votes against Raila’s 6.9 million. Raila rejected the results and moved to court.

But on Monday, 05 September 2022, the bench of seven judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome ruled that Raila’s petition was based on hearsay.
CJ Koome ruled that were not irregularities and illegalities of such magnitude as to affect the final result of the presidential election.

“Consequently we find that the petitioners did not present a water-tight case to warrant the setting aside of the presidential election on the basis of having not met the threshold provided under Article 138 (4)(a) of the Constitution,” the Chief justice ruled.

“This is a unanimous decision of the court and we make the following orders. The presidential petition number E005 of 2022 as consolidated by presidential petition numbers E001, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 of 2022 are hereby dismissed. As a consequence, we declare the election of the first respondent as President-elect to be valid under Article 43 of the Constitution,” Koome ruled.

The parties were ordered to bear their own costs.

She also ruled that the technology deployed by the country’s IEBC met standards of integrity, verifiability, security and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results.

“Upon considering all the pleadings, susmisions and all the ICT scrutiny of the vote tallying and recounting report which fully examined the IEBC’s elections system, we are not persuaded by the allegation that the technology deployed by the IEBC failed the standard of article 86 (a) of the Constitution on integrity, verifiability, security and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results,” Koome said.

“In our view, the petitioners failed to produce evidence to the contrary,” she added.
The Chief Justice ruled that there was no evidence of interference with uploading and transmission of forms 34A from polling stations to the IEBC public portal.

“There were no significant differences captured between the Forms 34A uploaded on the public portal and the physical Forms 34A delivered to Bomas that would have affected the overall outcome of the presidential election,” the CJ ruled.

“No credible evidence was to support the allegation that Forms 34A presented to agents differed from those uploaded on the public portal,” Koome said adding that, “We have found none,” on whether there was any evidence to that effect.
The other issue was whether postponement of gubernatorial elections in Kakamega and Mombasa counties, parliamentary elections in Kitui Rural, Kacheliba, Rongai and Pokot South, and Nyaki West and Mukuru kwa Njenga wards resulted in voter suppression to the detriment of the petitioners in petition number E005/2022.

“As regarding this allegation, it has not been sworn that by postponing the elections in the named electoral units, IEBC acted in bad faith or was influenced by irrelevant and considerations,” Koome said.

“From the explanation tendered, we are satisfied that the postponement was occasioned by a genuine mistake which in our view could have been avoided had the IEBC staff been more diligent when they went to inspect the templates in Greece where the printing of ballot papers was undertaken,” she added.

On whether IEBC carried out verification, tallying and declaration of results in accordance with provisions of articles 138 (3) (c) and 138 (10), she ruled: “We find that pursuant to Article 138 (3)(c) of the Constitution, the power to tally and verify presidential election results as received at the national tallying centre not in the chairperson of IEBC but in the commission itself.”

“We find that the chairperson cannot arrogate to himself the power to verify and tally results of a presidential election to the exclusion of other members of the commission,” Koome said.

“He does so only as a delegate of the Commission,” she added.

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