Kenya's Supreme Court judges retreat ahead of Monday's ruling on Presidential petition

The judges will decide whether Kenyans head back to the polls for the third time or uphold the re- election of Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya's Supreme Court judges have now embarked on a three day retreat to prepare a ruling on the petition seeking to have the Oct 26 Presidential poll nullified.

The six-judge bench has until Monday to deliver its verdict, which could either return Kenyans to the polls or set the stage for the swearing in of President Uhuru Kenyatta for a second term.

The judges are, in their ruling,expected to address several issues raised in the petitions filed by former Kilome MP Harun Mwau and activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa. Key among them being failure to conduct fresh nominations of candidates, the withdrawal of NASA from the exercise, the failure to conduct polls in 25 constituencies and low voter turnout.

The closure of the hearings on Thursday followed a two-day hearing during which petitioners, respondents and interested parties made oral submissions before the court.

Chief Justice David Maraga said the six-judge bench will render a ruling thanking parties in the matter for conducting themselves with decorum.

“We want to thank you for your courtesy to each other and the court except for a few remarks here and there and we want to encourage this kind of conduct to be continued,” Justice Maraga remarked in concluding remarks on behalf of Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu, Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u, Justices Jackton Ojwang’, Isaac Lenaola and Smokin Wanjala.

Justice Mohammed Ibrahim has been away on account of ill-health since the court begun hearing the petitions.

Ibrahim fell sick during the court hearing in August and was excused from participating in the court case in which National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga successfully fought for the annulment of the election results that declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner.

The court in a majority ruling of four against two dissenting judges made a finding that the August presidential election was marred by massive "illegalities and irregularities."

Mr. Odinga did not, however,petition the Oct 26 poll re-run terming it is a 'sham election' having withdrawn from it on October 10 on account of failure by IEBC to carry account reforms NASA had recommended.

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