Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win, citing irregularities, and ordered a new poll within 60 days, an unprecedented move in Africa where governments often not give heed to judges.
The ruling, broadcast to a stunned nation on television, sets up a new race between Kenyatta, 55, and veteran opponent Raila Odinga, 72.
Kenyatta called for calm and respect for the ruling and said he would run again in a televised speech. But he later struck a more combative note, criticising the court for ignoring the will of the people and dismissing the chief justice’s colleagues as “wakora” (crooks).
He said they had “decided to cancel the election”.
He warned the chief justice that as the poll had been annulled he was now the president again, not president-elect.
“Do you understand me? Maraga should know that he is now dealing with the serving president,” Mr Kenyatta, 55, said. “We are keeping a close eye on them. But let us deal with the election first. We are not afraid.”
While In Odinga’s western heartland, cheering supporters paraded through the streets chanting and waving tree branches.
Chief Justice David Maraga announced the Supreme Court’s verdict that was backed by four of the six judges, saying the declaration of Kenyatta’s victory was “invalid, null and void”.
Details of the ruling will be released within 21 days.