Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the electoral commission to grant the opposition access to its computer servers and results forms as it began hearing a challenge to this month’s disputed presidential vote. Opposition officials, who claim that the electoral commission’s systems were rigged to ensure President Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Raila Odinga, his main rival, said the court’s decision was “very significant”. “This enables us to access materials that can substantially strengthen our case,” said Moses Wetangula, a senior member of the National Super Alliance, an opposition coalition led by Mr Odinga. “The ICT processes have not been made accessible to the public and we have evidence that some were tampered with and manipulated.”
Mr Kenyatta won a second term after securing 54 per cent of the vote to Mr Odinga’s 45 per cent, a difference of 1.4m votes, in the August 8 ballot. A parallel tally by local observers broadly endorsed the official result.
But Mr Odinga, who is contesting his fourth presidential election, alleges that there was widespread rigging and has filed a legal petition to contest the result.
Kenya, which is home to east Africa’s dominant economy, has a history of disputed elections. After a flawed election in 2007 about 1,200 people were killed in politically motivated violence and 600,000 others forced to flee their homes. Mr Odinga, a former prime minister, also appealed against the poll results four years ago but the Supreme Court rejected his case.