A former lawmaker filed a petition at Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last month’s presidential election in a last minute move that opens the door to legal scrutiny of the vote. Harun Mwau filed the petition hours before a Monday deadline set by the constitution expired. Earlier in the day, a coalition of civil society groups said they were being targeted by the government in an effort to head off potential legal cases. The Supreme Court has until Nov. 14 to rule on election petitions. If it upholds the result, Kenyatta will be sworn in on Nov. 28.
Kenyatta came to power in 2013 and won a second and final term in August, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga by 1.4 million votes. The Supreme Court nullified the vote citing procedural irregularities and ordered a second election.
Odinga did not contest the repeat vote on Oct. 26 saying it would be unfair because the election commission had failed to implement reforms. Kenyatta won with 98 percent of the vote, though opposition supporters staged a boycott and prevented polls from opening in the west of the country.