Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential election victory, rejecting all petitions challenging the vote.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced the decision, which was unanimous, saying the poll was free and fair. Main challenger PM Raila Odinga, who lodged the appeal, said he would fully respect the verdict.
Official results said Kenyatta (pictured above) beat Odinga by 50.07% to 43.28%, avoiding a run-off by 8,100 votes.
Mr Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, are expected to be sworn in as president and vice-president on 9 April.
Plea for calm
Chief Justice Mutunga said the court’s decisions had been unanimous on all the issues they were asked to rule on.
He said that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto had been “validly elected” in a poll carried out in a “free, fair, transparent and credible” manner.
“It is the decision of the court that the said elections were indeed conducted in compliance with the constitution and the law,” Mutunga ruled.
“At this historical moment in our country, the Supreme Court has discharged its constitutional duty in conformity with the solemn oath each one of us took,” he added.
“It is now for the Kenyan people, their leaders, civil society, the private sector and the media to discharge theirs, to ensure that the unity, peace, sovereignty and prosperity of the nation is preserved. God bless Kenya.”
Supporters of Mr Kenyatta took to the streets of central Nairobi, tooting their horns, blowing on vuvuzelas and chanting.
Petitions had been filed to the court by Mr Odinga and by civil society groups, who claimed irregularities had affected the election result and called for fresh elections.
Mr Odinga said that he did not regret making the challenge and that he fully respected the decision and wished Mr Kenyatta and his team well.
Mr Kenyatta has called the election, which was largely conducted peacefully, a “triumph of democracy”.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has insisted that the vote was credible, despite technical failures with an electronic voter ID system and the vote counting mechanism.
International observers said the poll was largely free, fair and credible, and that the electoral commission had conducted its business in an open and transparent manner.