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Kenya’s apex court upholds Ruto’s presidential election victory

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KENYA’S Supreme Court has upheld William Ruto’s victory in the August 9 presidential election, ending weeks of political uncertainty and delivering a blow to challenger Raila Odinga who had alleged fraud in the poll.

“We declare the election of the President-elect to be valid,” chair of the seven-member court Martha Koome said on Monday while delivering the unanimous verdict.

The court dismissed all nine issues at the heart of the challenge to the results, which had delivered victory to Ruto by a margin of less than two percentage points.

On August 15, Ruto had been declared the winner of the ballot by Wafula Chebukati, the head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with 50.4 per cent of the vote to Odinga’s 48.8 per cent.

In a dramatic split just before the announcement of the outcome of the poll, four of the seven commissioners disowned the result.

But Koome said on Monday that “apart from their eleventh-hour denunciation of the verification process, the four commissioners have not shown any evidence that the election was compromised”.

She added, “The irregularities were not of such magnitude as to affect the final results of the presidential election.”

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Both the Ruto and Odinga camps had pledged to accept the court’s ruling and the 55-year-old President-elect will be sworn into office on September 13 as Kenya’s 5th President.

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