Kenya’s Supreme Court will handle any challenge to the result of last week’s presidential election in a fair and speedy manner, the chief justice said on Monday, two days after defeated candidate Raila Odinga threatened legal action over the outcome. Uhuru Kenyatta, indicted for crimes against humanity, was declared the winner on Saturday. Odinga refused to concede, although he urged his supporters to avoid any repeat of the violence that erupted after the last election in 2007. Chief justice Willy Mutunga, appointed in 2011 to reform a legal system accused of serving the interests of the elite, said politicians and political parties had confidence in the judiciary to handle all electoral disputes. A swift and transparent resolution of the dispute is seen as critical to restoring Kenya’s reputation as a stable democracy, something that was helped by last week’s largely peaceful vote.
“We at the Supreme Court are prepared to hear any petition that may be filed impartially, fairly, justly and without fear, ill-will, favour, prejudice or bias and in accordance with our constitution and our laws,” Mutunga said.
The chief justice was speaking at a news conference held on the steps of the court after receiving a copy of the election results from electoral commission officials.
Several peaceful demonstrators waving Odinga posters near the gates to the court hours after Mutunga spoke, shouted: “We want Agwambo not the suspect”, referring to Odinga, who is known as “Agwambo” or the daring one, and Kenyatta.