Kenya Tightens Security Around Supreme Court Before Key Ruling

Turkish military starts drill near Iraqi border

Kenya's election commission initially declared Kenyatta, 55, the victor by a margin of 1.4 million votes but the result was immediately challenged in court by his nearest rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The court's decision has sharpened the political divide in Kenya, one of Africa's biggest economies, and risks a constitutional crisis.

Supporters of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta protested outside Nairobi's Supreme Court on Tuesday, demanding the removal of judges who threw out the results of the country's election in August.

The judge also said an assumption by the majority that since there were more votes cast in favour of the Mr Kenyatta compared to governors and MPs then IEBC had interfered with the result of the presidential election was wrong.

Kenya is a key Western ally in a region often shaken by violence.

Odinga has said that he would boycott a repeat vote scheduled for October 17 unless the government responded to his demands, including the sacking of some staff at the electoral commission.

"The exercise was therefore a complete violation of the court order and the access was not useful to the parties or the court", ruled the judges.

Kenya used two parallel systems: a quick electronic tally vulnerable to typos and a slower paper system designed as a verifiable, definitive back-up. Police spokesman George Kinoti called that accusation "not true", saying they have provided protection to all judges at their homes and workplaces.

Maraga later said that the 8 August election had not been conducted in accordance with the constitution, declaring it "null and void".

While a petition has been filed against two Supreme Court judges, accusing them of professional misconduct for allegedly being in touch with lawyers representing Odinga during the election case. The Nation reports that COO Frederic Beylier said the audit, undertaken with help from external experts from security software companies, had shown the system "in no way suffered manipulation of data, attacks, attempts to penetrate the system or anything of that kind".

Furthermore, the IEBC was unable to explain what had happened to the results from over 11,000 polling stations which were required by law to be sent to tallying stations. "The [board] can not therefore be said to have verified the results", she noted. "It is an inexcusable contravention. of the election act". "Its logs which could have proved or disproved the petitioner's claims of hacking into the servers", she added. "Failure by the board to do as ordered must be held against it".

Opposition claims against Kenyatta were largely dismissed.

"The role of judiciary is to give a comprehensible interpretation of the law rather than determine a dispute mechanically and dispose it off without proper evidence", Njoki said.

Kenyatta said the Supreme Court decision to nullify his presidential election win was the most painful moment of his life.

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