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Raila takes Presidential battle to Court

The dispute over the presidential election will be placed in the hands of seven judges after the opposition coalition announced it would file a petition at the Supreme Court.

Ahead of Friday’s lapsing of a deadline to lodge a petition, the National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga Wednesday said the group had resolved to challenge in court the making of a ‘computer-generated leadership’.

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Raila has disputed the declaration of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner with 54 per cent of the presidential vote against his 44 per cent, alleging the electronic results transmission system was hacked to generate fake results.

“We had said we will not go to court. But with the raid on civil society and determination to silence all voices that could seek legal redress like AfriCOG and the Kenya Human Rights Commission, we have now decided to move to the Supreme Court and lay before the world the making of a computer-generated leadership,” Raila said yesterday.

He was referring to a State crackdown on the two civil society groups, which have been accused of operating without valid registration and having illegal bank accounts.

Raila added: “Our decision to go to court constitutes a second chance for the Supreme Court. The court can use this chance to redeem itself, or, like in 2013, it can compound the problems we face as a country.”

In 2013, the Supreme Court rejected his petition challenging the election of Uhuru.

Raila said by going to court, they were not legitimising ‘misplaced’ calls by some observers for them to concede but are seeking to give those who braved the long queues in the morning chill and hot afternoon on election day.

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Tallying centre

He questioned why unofficial results were transmitted to the national tallying centre and posted on its website without scanned form 34As (tally of polling station results) and 34Bs (aggregate of results from all polling stations at constituency level).

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“It’s unfortunate early display of vote tallies at the national level was not accompanied by the scans of polling station result forms as planned, nor labelled unofficial, leading to some confusion regarding the status of official results. NASA wants to show the world what transpired in the fraud,” said Raila.

At their second official press conference with local and international media, backed by elected leaders for various seats and party supporters, Raila claimed some results exceeded registered voters.

“They cooked numbers to the extent that vote tallies often surpassed registered voters in polling stations. No one should believe, and especially not those behind this election fraud, that Kenyans are sheep who will willingly go along with democracy’s slaughter,” Raila said.

On Tuesday, the chief executive of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Ezra Chiloba, in a letter to NASA, stated that the commission was not able to supply all form 34As immediately.

“This means that both the provisional and final results announced last week are null and void and that Uhuru Kenyatta was not lawfully declared winner,” Raila claimed.

According to Raila, from the start, the IEBC illegally released unverified results to create the expectation of the Jubilee candidate’s victory, which he argued was the equivalent of guaranteeing violence if the final verified results indicated Uhuru had lost.

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He described as bizarre President Kenyatta’s lead staying at around a consistent 11 per cent throughout the release of the results, with the same pattern being exhibited in many races for governorship across the country.

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“Such a fixed margin has never been maintained throughout any democratic election anywhere in the world. But it happened here because an algorithm had been introduced to rig the outcome. It happened in full view of all our people and all the election observers,” Raila argued.

Election observers

He questioned why IEBC announced President Kenyatta the winner although the commission continued to acknowledge that only about 29,000 of the 41,000 verified Forms 34As had been tallied.

“Why was there this fanatical rush to judgment on the most vital matter that any democratic nation ever faces – the election of its president for the next five years? And why did the IEBC refuse to address the set of questions about vote tallying that NASA had submitted?” Raila asked.

The Carter Centre, a US election observer mission in Kenya led by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, in its preliminary findings, noted the electronic transmission of results had been unreliable.

The centre said: “Although election day voting and counting processes functioned smoothly, the electronic transmission of results from the polling stations to the 290 constituency centres, where official results are tallied, proved unreliable.”

Raila said the Wafula Chebukati-led commission might have declared Kenyatta president, but a vast number of Kenyans have not accepted the legitimacy of the decision and will not accept it until they have answers to profoundly disturbing questions that have been raised.

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Raila, flanked by his running mate and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, and his chief agent, Musalia Mudavadi, said the IEBC streamed provisional presidential results not backed by form 34As, as required by law.

“For the third straight election in a row, the voice of the people has been stilled, and for the third time in a decade, the candidate who lost the election has been declared president,” Raila claimed.

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He added: “We refuse to sit and watch Jubilee turn our country into a banana republic and a playground.”

Raila argued that accepting such a crime would irredeemably entrench the triumph of anti-democratic impunity and the permanent death of democracy.

Civil liberties

“Peaceful assembly is guaranteed by the Constitution, so is civil disobedience. So is the right for labour to go on strike. Yet as Kenyans are butchered and their civil liberties trampled upon, they are being told not to protest against a leader they believe is being imposed on them through a computer-generated fraud,” he added.

He said Kenyans excitedly voted in a peaceful election that even the most democratic nations in the world would have been proud of.

IEBC said the court case would offer it an opportunity to respond to vote rigging claims.

“It is their right to go to court. We will have an opportunity to respond to whatever the National Super Alliance presents in court,” said the communications manager, Andrew Limo.

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