The Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he will go to court over last week’s presidential election results, ignoring calls by some election observers for him to concede defeat to President Uhuru Kenyatta. Twenty-four people have died in violence since the election on 8 August. Odinga’s decision will ease concerns that he may call for demonstrations that could trigger further violence. “We have now decided to move to the supreme court,” the 72-year-old leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition told reporters in the capital, Nairobi. “This is just the beginning, we will not accept and move on.”
Last Tuesday, Nairobi felt like a city awaiting the apocalypse. Streets normally clogged with traffic were eerily quiet. Grocery-store shelves had been largely emptied of supplies. Anxious wealthy residents booked flights out of town, conveniently scheduling their summer vacations to avoid the chaos of a Kenyan national election. The Chinese government, Western private-sector companies, and other foreign investors braced as well. A peaceful vote in Kenya, which is regarded as the most vibrant economic and democratic power in East Africa, could unleash billions of dollars in infrastructure and development contracts. Kenya has had a long and calamitous history of political violence and corruption since it gained independence from British colonial rule, in 1963. Much of this conflict is rooted in ethnic tensions between different tribes, which many historians attribute, in part, to decades of British colonial rule that intentionally played major tribes against one another. Rich and poor Kenyans alike feared a repeat of the 2007 post-election violence between two of the country’s largest tribes, the Luo and Kikuyu, which killed more than twelve hundred people and displaced more than half a million.
The leader of Kenya’s opposition party said Wednesday he would challenge the results of last week’s presidential election in the Supreme Court, not in the hopes of overturning the outcome but as a way to expose evidence of widespread vote-rigging. “Whether the court rules in our favor or rules against us, we don’t really care,” the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, said in an interview after making the announcement in front of supporters and media. “We want this evidence to come out so that people can know how they did it and who did, so they know that it was stolen.” At the same time, he called on Kenyans to seek justice by practicing civil disobedience if the Supreme Court fails to give a fair ruling. “This is about the people of Kenya so that the Kenyans are justified to use civil disobedience means to seek justice if they don’t get it in a court of law,” Mr. Odinga said. “So we will use all constitutional means.”
Kenya: Kenyatta Wins Big in Kenya – But U.S.-Style Election Skullduggery Taints the Results | The Daily Beast
Kenya’s election has come off without major disturbances, and on Friday evening Nairobi time, the nation’s Independent Electoral Board and Boundaries Commission declared a winner in the country’s presidential race. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, secured 54.2 percent of the vote. All the same, a number of election-cycle oddities go unexplained—including the novel involvement of foreign big-data and PR consultancies who’ve played significant roles in electoral upsets in both the U.S. and U.K. Tuesday, election day, the seafront here in Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was deserted. Shops and schools were closed. In the town square a long line of men–including red-cloaked Maasai–stood chatting quietly. Women waited in a separate queue, noticeably shorter than the men’s.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to announce his strategy Wednesday for contesting his election loss, having further delayed a decision that could defuse or exacerbate tensions in the country. The 72-year-old insists he is the rightful winner of a “stolen” election which took place on August 8 and handed victory to incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta. Speaking at the weekend, Odinga promised to announce his next move on Tuesday. However citing the “complexity and delicate nature” of discussions, his National Super Alliance (NASA) pushed the decision back to Wednesday. The veteran opposition leader has now lost four elections and has also cried foul over results in the previous two.
Kenya: Flying rocks, teargas and a dead child: the grisly aftermath of the Kenya election | The Guardian
Mid-afternoon, and black smoke trails above the grey tenements. Broken glass, burned tyres, rubble and makeshift barricades block roads. Charred spars mark where a stall once stood, incinerated in confused clashes overnight. Police, armed with batons and assault rifles, cluster around their trucks. Angry men shout slogans and wave fists. The morning has seen much violence: teenagers throwing rocks, police firing teargas. During the night, Mathare, a sprawling slum in Nairobi, has echoed to the sound of gunfire and police helicopters. There have been many casualties, some fatal. Now there is a pause. The police are waiting. So too are the youths they have pursued through the narrow lanes for almost 18 hours – since the Kenyan election commission declared Uhuru Kenyatta, in power since 2013, had won the presidential polls held on Tuesday by a substantial margin.
Congo voters go to the polls Sunday in legislative elections in the oil-rich African country, the first since violence-marred presidential polls last year which returned Denis Sassou Nguesso to power. While no fresh violence is expected opposition parties have cried foul, as over 2 million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the first round of polling in Congo-Brazzaville to elect National Assembly members as well as local councils. Sassou Nguesso returned to office in March 2016 after a constitutional referendum ended a two-term presidential term limit, amid deadly violence notably in the Pool region neighbouring the capital Brazzaville.
A candidate opposing Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has taken the country’s Electoral Commission to court for allowing voting on a Sunday. Voting in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s electorate of Ialibu-Pangia began on Sunday July 2 after two days of delays, symptomatic of widespread problems with the current PNG national election. Opposing candidate Stanley Liria has filed an application in the PNG Supreme Court, asking for it to decide if the Sunday voting breached the constitution. Mr Liria said Sunday voting was prohibited in section 130 of PNG’s Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections, which says polling must take place on days “other than a Sunday or a public holiday”.
Labor has launched a high court challenge to the right of a National party MP to sit in the parliament, which could remove the Coalition government’s one-seat majority. Labor’s national executive confirmed the decision on Friday morning to challenge the assistant health minister and National MP for Lyne, David Gillespie, over a potential commercial interest with the commonwealth. If the case were successful, a byelection would be triggered in the safe National party seat on the New South Wales mid-north coast. If the Coalition candidate lost, the Turnbull government would lose its one-seat majority. Gillespie won the seat after the former independent Rob Oakeshott retired at the 2013 election. Oakeshott ran at the 2016 election in the nearby safe National seat of Cowper but failed to unseat MP Luke Hartsuyker after a three-week campaign.
Mongolia’s first-ever presidential runoff has been brought forward by two days to July 7 due to a traditional sporting festival, the country’s electoral authorities said Thursday. The three candidates in Monday’s first-round poll fell well short of the absolute majority needed to secure the presidency, extending the drama of an election marked by corruption scandals. Former judoka Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party and speaker of the parliament Mieygombo Enkhbold of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) were the top two finishers and will contest the runoff. Both parties asked for the date to be brought forward due to the start of the long national Naadam holiday a few days later — Mongolia’s biggest festival featuring wrestling, archery and horse-riding.