The Honduras opposition said Wednesday they filed an appeal with election officials demanding that President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s re-election be annulled because the recent vote was marred by fraud. Election officials declared Hernandez the victor after narrowly defeating leftist opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla in the controversial November 26 vote. Nasralla conceded on December 22 shortly after Honduras’ key ally Washington endorsed Hernandez’s re-election, following a month of deadly street clashes. Former president Manuel Zelaya, coordinator of the leftist alliance opposed to Hernandez, filed the appeal with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal late Tuesday.
Honduras’ two main opposition parties on Friday presented formal requests to annul the results of the still-unresolved presidential election, deepening a political crisis that has roiled the poor, violent Central American nation. The Nov. 26 vote has been marred by accusations of electoral fraud, sparking protests, a widespread curfew and a growing chorus of international concern over the situation in Honduras, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates. Opposition leader Salvador Nasralla, who trails conservative President Juan Orlando Hernandez by 1.6 percentage points according to the widely criticized official count, arrived at the election tribunal shortly before the midnight deadline to present his center-left coalition’s request.
The European Union urged Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party and the main opposition alliance to be prepared to compromise hard-line positions to allow for a credible rerun of presidential elections. “Dialogue and cooperation are urgently needed for compromises so there can be a peaceful electoral process with integrity and transparency and Kenyans can chose their president,” the EU’s elections observer mission said on Monday in an emailed statement. Uncertainty about the Oct. 26 election is unnerving investors and clouding the outlook for an economy that’s already slowing. Kenya is a regional hub for companies including Toyota Motor Corp. and could become an oil exporter with Tullow Oil Plc among firms that are likely to start exploiting an estimated 1 billion barrels of crude resources.
Kenya’s government has banned protests in three city centres, citing lawlessness during opposition rallies against the electoral commission before a scheduled presidential vote rerun. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has called for daily protests next week to keep up pressure on election officials, after his refusal to take part in the 26 October poll plunged the country into uncertainty. “Due to the clear, present and imminent danger of breach of peace, the government notifies the public that, for the time being, we will not allow demonstrations within the central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu,” said the security minister, Fred Matiangi. “The inspector general of police has been advised accordingly.” Hundreds of opposition supporters have marched in recent weeks, sometimes burning tyres and clashing with police who have used teargas to disperse crowds.
Kenya’s main opposition coalition walked out of negotiations on how a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election will be managed and threatened street protests, setting back preparations for the Oct. 26 ballot. The officials quit the talks because of plans by the ruling Jubilee Party to remove powers from the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission, James Orengo, a senator for the opposition National Super Alliance, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Nairobi. Proposed changes to the law include enabling commissioners to appoint a new chairman and reducing the number of people required to make a quorum, according to a copy of the bill provided by government spokesman Eric Kiraithe’s office. “This law is going to create a lame-duck commission,” Orengo said. “We are left with no alternative but to walk out of this meeting,” he said, adding that negotiations “at this stage are an exercise in futility.”
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has asked his lawyers to prosecute six employees of telecoms operator Safaricom for conspiring with election board officials to rig the nullified Aug. 8 presidential poll. The Supreme Court annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election on Sept. 1, citing irregularities and illegalities in the transmission of results, and ordered another election within 60 days. Kenya used two systems to transmit results from polling stations: paper forms and the electronic transmission of the vote tallies plus scanned copies of the forms, using three local telecoms firms and hardware from French IT firm OT-Morpho. Odinga accused Safaricom of failing to alert the authorities about illegal activities during the electronic transmission of results. He said they were sent to a server in Europe rather than the election centre in the Kenyan capital.
Kenya’s chief prosecutor has ordered police and an anti-corruption agency to investigate the country’s election commission for alleged “irregularities and illegalities” in August’s annulled presidential poll. Director of public prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said on the wide-ranging investigations into the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) must be completed within 21 days. The election board had said incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won the contest by 1.4 million votes, but the opposition said the country’s electronic voting system had been hacked and the results were doctored. A fresh presidential election between Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga is due on October 26.
Kenya’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it had nullified last month’s presidential election because the voting may have been hacked, and accused the electoral commission of failing to verify results before announcing them. It stopped short, however, of calling the vote rigged, and rejected the opposition’s assertion that President Uhuru Kenyatta had used state resources and undue influence to sway the outcome. The commission had declared Mr. Kenyatta the winner of the Aug. 8 vote, with 54 percent of the ballots, to 44 percent for the opposition leader, Raila Odinga — a margin of about 1.4 million votes. Mr. Odinga challenged the result, and said that the last two elections had also been stolen from him.
Kenya’s supreme court has said it annulled presidential elections held in August because the polls were “neither transparent nor verifiable” and blamed the country’s electoral commission for the shortcomings. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent president of the east African state, won a second term by a margin of 9%, defeating his long-term rival, Raila Odinga, in the election last month. The country now faces new elections in October, and possible lengthy political instability. The court’s majority decision to annul the poll – the result of which was announced three weeks ago – surprised many observers and embarrassed local, African and western observers who said they had found no major problems with the election. On Wednesday, the court offered a detailed explanation of why it annulled the 8 August election – the first decision of its kind in Africa.
Kenya’s Supreme Court on Wednesday placed the blame for last month’s annulled presidential vote firmly on the country’s election committee, in its full ruling detailing the judges’ decision. Deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu described “disturbing, if not startling, revelations” about the conduct of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and singled it out for ignoring a Supreme Court order to open up its computer servers after opposition allegations of hacking. “Our order of scrutiny was a golden opportunity for the IEBC to place before the court evidence to debunk the petitioner’s claim,” Mwilu read from the court’s detailed judgement on Wednesday.
Kenya’s Supreme Court ruling to scrap last month’s presidential election was shaped by a new chief justice who proved a staunch defender of judicial independence on a continent where judges are often seen as being under the thumb of executive powers. David Maraga’s declaration that the Aug. 8 election was void and demand for a new poll with 60 days shocked many in the East African nation and abroad. But his announcement, after a 4-2 vote by a court panel to annul the vote, didn’t surprise those who know the chief justice. “We knew this case was coming and he was the man to hear it,” Professor Tom Ojienda, who worked with Maraga and sits on the Judicial Service Commission that appointed him chief justice, told Reuters. “He is a stickler for the rules.”
As gunfire and screams rang out in her Nairobi neighborhood after last month’s disputed presidential election, Lucy Anyango stepped outdoors and across a tense ethnic divide. The member of Kenya’s Luo minority went to her friend Sheila Kariuki, an ethnic Kikuyu, and walked Kariuki’s two daughters to the safety of her own home amid threats of rape and violence. Angry Luo were rampaging in the streets in protest over the loss of their opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, to President Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kikuyu. As calm began to return the next day, Kariuki thanked her friend in a heartfelt Facebook post. “I will forever be grateful,” she wrote. “As I write this my eyes are full of tears. Dear God, when will this madness ever stop?”
The Kenyan Supreme Court’s courageous decision to nullify the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta is a critical first for Kenya and Africa, demonstrating that democratic institutions are capable of acting independently and resolving disputes that in the past have often spilled over into violence. The ruling was also a rebuke to international monitors and diplomats — and to this page — who were too quick to dismiss charges of irregularities, largely out of relief that the Aug. 8 voting had been mainly peaceful and in the hope that disappointment with the results would not lead to the sort of violence that erupted after the disputed 2007 election, in which hundreds of people were killed.
Kenya’s supreme court has declared Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the presidential election last month invalid and ordered a new vote to be held within 60 days.The decision to nullify the result, a first in Kenya, sets up a new race for the presidency between Kenyatta and the veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga. Analysts said it marked a watershed in the east African nation and set a unique precedent for the continent. Kenyatta accepted the court decision on Friday afternoon, calling for “peace, peace, peace” in a televised address. The six-judge bench ruled 4-2 in favour of a petition filed by Odinga, who claimed the electronic voting results were hacked and manipulated in favour of the incumbent. Kenyatta was declared the election winner with 54% of the vote.
The Kenyan Supreme Court nullified on Friday the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, ordering a new vote to be held within 60 days after a stunning decision that found that the election was tainted by irregularities. The Aug. 8 election which was conducted peacefully, was thought to be Kenya’s freest yet and was largely praised by international observers. Yet, because the ruling might provoke violence, the authorities had also bolstered security in light of the contentious nature of the campaign, with tensions still running high and the country’s history of postelection clashes. The court sided with opposition figures, who had complained about election irregularities and raised questions about the fairness and transparency of the vote. A top election official in charge of voting technology was murdered about a week before the election, and although the casting of ballots went smoothly, their collation and electronic transmission were flawed, leading the opposition to assert that as many as seven million votes had been stolen.
Austria’s Freedom party will get another go at providing the first far-right president in the European Union, after the country’s constitutional court annulled the result of May’s presidential election. The court president, Gerhart Holzinger, announced on Friday that the run-off vote, in which Norbert Hofer of the Freedom party (FPÖ) narrowly lost to Green-backed Alexander Van…
Austria’s constitutional court annulled May’s president election on Friday, upholding a legal challenge by the anti-immigation Freedom party (FPÖ) and opening the way for a repeat poll in September or October. “The challenge brought by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache against the May 22 election… has been upheld,” said constitutional court head Gerhard Holzinger. The court said it was using its strict standard on the application of election rules. Final results on May’s election – after a count of absentee ballots – had put former Green party politician Alexander Van der Bellen ahead by little more than 30,000 votes. The margin of presumed victory was less than one percentage point – out of the 4.6 million ballots cast. Norbert Hofer of the FPÖ had come top in a first round in April.