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Fuming Kenyatta hits out at judiciary over poll cancellation

Kenyatta meeting Jubilee Governors and MCAs at State House. PHOTO UKENYATTA FACEBOOK

Nairobi, Kenya | AFP |  Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday lashed out at the judiciary for overturning his re-election, and refused opposition demands to replace the tarnished polls commission.

While repeating his assertion that he respected the Supreme Court decision, a bellicose Kenyatta set the stage for a bitter and tense re-run of the presidential election which must take place before October 31.

Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday declared Kenyatta’s victory in August 8 polls “invalid, null and void”, pointing to widespread irregularities in the electronic transmission of vote results.

“Every time we do something a judge comes out and places an injunction. It can’t go on like this … there is a problem and we must fix it,” said Kenyatta.

“I think those robes they wear make them think that they are more clever than the rest of us Kenyans,” Kenyatta said of the Supreme Court judges, taking specific aim at Maraga.

“Maraga thinks he can overturn the will of the people. We shall show you … that the will of the people cannot be overturned by a few people.”

On Friday he slammed the judges as “crooks” — after weeks of urging the opposition to turn to the courts and “use whatever legal mechanisms that have been created via our wonderful constitution to express their dissatisfaction.”

Law Society of Kenya president Isaac Okera condemned his remarks as “wholly inappropriate” and “ominous”. (see social media live feed page 2)

– Fate of election officials –

Meanwhile the fate of the electoral commission (IEBC) was shaping up as the next battle between Kenyatta and Odinga, heirs to a dynastic rivalry dating back to independence in 1963.

Maraga said the IEBC had failed to properly conduct the presidential election, and that there had been “irregularities and illegalities”.

Odinga demanded the discredited commission be replaced, and IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said there would be some “internal changes” but refused to resign.

The previous commission — tarnished by a corruption scandal and poor handling of 2013 polls — was forced to stand down in October after widespread protests. The new commission, named in January had only seven months to organise the polls.

Kenyatta dismissed the option of a change at the IEBC, stating “we don’t have time for any more reforms.”

He accused Odinga of seeking to derail the election “to join the government through the back door” by forcing a coalition government.

“Let IEBC do their job, let them declare the date (of a new election) and Raila let us meet at the ballot.”

2 comments

  1. I cannot understand what Uhuru is complaining about. The court heard evidence and legal arguments and decided on the evidence before it that the elections were tainted with some mischief rendering the result null and void. What did he want the judges to do? Disregard the evidence before it? My preliminary view is that he should thank his lucky stars that all the court was asked to do was decide on whether the laws had been breached not (as far as I am aware) the culprits. As matters stand the suggestion is that this was by Uhuru’s supporters, with or without his knowledge. This in of itself could have rendered him ineligible to stand again. Rather than rant and rave and threaten retribution, Uhuru should make sure that he and his team plays fair next time. After all what are they so scared of that they have to rig the elections if they strongly believe they have a solid support from the voters. It never ceases to amaze me how people complain about the law being an ass when they don’tr like a ruling, yet they are quick to complain when they are on the wrong side of the law, demanding rights to a free and fair trial. The man dost protest too much me thinks!

  2. Simply put, if your score a goal in a football match whilst offside, it will not count if it seen by the linesman or referee because it is against the rules of the game. There is no point blaming/threatening the referee. Such dissent can lead to a yellow card! It’s also childish to complain when you are caught out.

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