Kenya’s supreme court has upheld the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in last month’s controversial re-run of presidential elections, clearing the way for the 55-year-old leader to be sworn in for a second and final term next week. After hearing two days of arguments, a six-judge bench said two petitions demanding the cancellation of the polls were “without merit”. The ruling is unlikely to end the worst political crisis in a decade in east Africa’s richest and most developed economy, which has seen more than 60 people killed in political violence in three months. Opposition leaders immediately rejected the decision, while government supporters celebrated outside the court in central Nairobi.
Kenya was plunged into turmoil when the supreme court overturned Kenyatta’s victory in elections in August, citing irregularities and mismanagement by the electoral commission. The turnout for that poll was 80%. Kenyatta won by nine points. The judges ordered a re-run to be held within 60 days.
Raila Odinga, the main opposition leader then withdrew from the second poll, saying he believed it would be marred by the same flaws as the August vote.
Kenyatta won the second poll with 98% of the vote on a turn out of only 39%.