KENYA DECIDES: Supreme Court Orders Recount

Kenya’s Supreme Court has ordered for a fresh vote recount in 22 polling stations. The ruling was delivered on Monday morning by Justice Smoking Wanjala on behalf of the six Justices of the Supreme Court. The other judges are Dr Willy Mutunga, Kenya’s chief justice, Njoki Ndung’u,  Jackson Ojwang, Philip Tunoi and Mohamed Ibrahim. Reading out the ruling, Justice Wanjala said that the fresh recount exercise is meant to establish whether the votes cast at the 22 polling stations exceed registered voters there.

According to the ruling, the vote recount exercise will be conducted on Tuesday March 26th  at a venue yet to be communicated by court. The Supreme Court through the office of the registrar shall appoint ten agents who will be present at the fresh tallying exercise. The agents will swear in an oath of secrecy on Tuesday morning. However, the ruling is silent on the criteria that will be used to select the agents. The court shall also scrutinize all forms 34 and 36 from the 33,000 polling stations across the country and the Diaspora.

The Supreme Court has also allowed Githu Muigai, the attorney general to join the proceeding as a friend of the court in all the three cases. The judges said that the constitution allows that the AG to be enjoined in a case should he seek leave of the court to do so. But on the other hand, the same court has rejected an application by the Law Society of Kenya to join the case on grounds that it didn’t present strong arugement.  Earlier, Raila’s lawyers asked court to disallow the both LSK and AG from being enjoined in the case saying some of the evidence they intend to present before court pins the duo.

The ruling follows a petition filed by Raila Odinga, the first running in the Kenya March 4th presidential elections. Raila lost to Uhuru Kenyatta, but refused to concede defeat citing irregularities in the vote tallying exercise and conduct of the elections. Uhuru, who is being sworn in on March 26th, polled 6.1 votes against Raila’s 5.3 million votes.

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