02-09-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
We are three days away from the final verdict of the Kenyan Supreme Court on the 2022 general elections.
As is well known, after the results were announced by the Independent Electoral Commission IEBC on 15 August, with the proclamation of the new president William Ruto, ready to succeed the outgoing Uhuru Kenyatta, whose vice-president Ruto himself was for 10 years, the defeated candidate Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition but supported by Kenyatta, filed an appeal calling Ruto's victory 'a civil coup' and the counting of the ballot papers 'a farce'. Since last Tuesday, therefore, as many as eighty-eight prosecution and defence lawyers (the IEBC and lawyers from Ruto's coalition, Kenya Kwanza) have been debating with the seven Supreme Court judges who are due to rule on the dispute by next Monday, 5 September.
There are four possibilities for resolution:
1. Confirmation of the election of William Ruto as the new president of Kenya.
In this case, the new president will have 30 days to be officially sworn in and 60 days to take office at State House, the president's palace.
2. Annulment of the presidential election.
In this case new polls will have to be held within 60 days of the ruling.
If the recount of the votes for the 41 seats requested by the Supreme Court delivers a new result in which neither candidate exceeds the 50% threshold, it will be necessary to go to the second round of voting. Again within 60 days of the ruling.
4. Odinga's victory.
The least likely hypothesis is that the count or evidence of fraud against the coalition leader Azimio La Umoja will overturn the result in his favour, Such a decision would bring Odinga to the presidency, with the same timeframe for the swearing-in and installation as for Ruto's eventual confirmation.
We will know on Monday. What is important is that politicians continue, while pecking at each other, to issue proclamations of peace and calls for calm to their supporters, as they have always done so far.
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