Allies of Kenya’s defeated presidential contender Raila Odinga filed a petition on Tuesday asking the High Court to compel the electoral commission and mobile operator Safaricom to release documents to bolster their claim the vote was stolen. Uhuru Kenyatta, indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC), was declared the winner in a tightly contested election, which passed largely peacefully without a repeat of the violence that erupted after the last election in 2007, in which at least 1,200 people were killed. Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister, has so far refused to concede defeat. He says he will appeal to nullify Kenyatta’s victory on grounds of fraud, in what will be the first major substantive case for a new Supreme Court formed under a constitution adopted in 2010 referendum. Safaricom ran a mobile network that was used to transmit provisional results, until the election commission’s servers seized up and the commission switched to manual transmission.
Kenyatta, one of Africa’s richest men and son of Kenya’s founding president Jomo Kenyatta, managed narrowly to avoid a second round by winning 8,100 votes more than the 50 percent needed to be declared the winner outright.
Odinga’s supporters say Safaricom documents could help show some of those votes were fraudulent, forcing a second round.
He has told his supporters to shun violence, and so far there has been no unrest in flashpoint areas, such as Nairobi’s Kibera slum, which Odinga represents in parliament, and Kisumu, a western city that is a bastion of his support.
“Even though the election was stolen, we don’t want violence. We’re filing a petition in court and we’ve enough evidence,” Odinga told a rally in Kibera.