A lawyer for Kenya’s election commission cited the U.S. Supreme Court case Bush vs. Gore on Thursday during arguments before a Kenya Supreme Court that must now rule on the outcome of this East African country’s presidential election. Ahmednasir Abdullahi told Kenya’s highest court Thursday it should adhere to judicial restraint and uphold the March 4 result from Kenya’s election commission showing that Uhuru Kenyatta won with 50.07 percent of the March 4 vote. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the runner-up with 43 percent, and civil society groups are asking the court to order a new election because it wasn’t free and fair. The court is expected to rule by Saturday. Abdullahi quoted U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote after hearing the 2000 case that decided that U.S. presidential election, that the appearance of a split court on a highly politicized case risks undermining public confidence in the court.
Kenya’s current Supreme Court was reformed after a disastrous 2007 presidential election that sparked weeks of tribal violence that killed more than 1,000 people. The court’s formation and the newfound trust Kenyans have in it is frequently cited as one of the reasons Kenya’s contentious election this year has not yet sparked any violence.
Abdullahi reminded the court that it is only two years old, and he told them: “You must show restraint.”
The six Supreme Court judges, led by Chief… View Full Caption
But Justice Smokin Wanjala did not appear to appreciate Abdullahi’s advice.
“It is not this court on trial,” W