All you need to know about today Supreme Court ruling

7 judges comprising of five men and two women will today at 11 am decide the course of Kenya for the next five years.

But while the stakes are high and tension thick in the air, the team of seven led by Chief Justice David Maraga and comprising of Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u and justices Smoking Wanjala,Isaac Lenaola, Jackton Ojwang and Mohammed Ibrahim will have to maintain a clear head in determining the petition as presented before them.

On one side lies the IEBC Chairman as 1 respondent, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as the second respondent and President Uhuru the 3rd.

On the other hand stands Raila Odinga as the petitioner who raised the petition objecting the presidential elections results as announced on August 11th by IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati.

The courts took the following into consideration

The opposition lawyers led by James Orengo claimed a list of incongruities accusing IEBC of fabricating the results during the period taken to publish polling station and constituency tally sheets on its website.

In response, the Supreme Court granted the opposition lawyers access to IEBC computer servers, documentation, voter identification kits and GPS data.

The IEBC however, failed to submit to some of the orders. Nonetheless, the opposition leading counsel James Orengo claimed that the information accrued was enough to prove the irregularities that they claimed affected more than five million votes.

IEBC in defense agreed to some “unexpected errors” but denied rigging. They went on to request the court to maintain its 2013 decision as determined by the former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga’s team stating that the decision to throw out the petition has been cited widely internationally as a judicial landmark.

The court could  have ruled in three ways

1.    The court could throw out Raila’s petition on the grounds that it did not meet the evidential threshold or simply the respondents presented a stronger case.

2.    The Supreme Court judges could also rule the elections void if they conclude that they were not administered as prescribed by the law.

3.    The final option would see the country hold a re-run of the presidential election on the same date if it is determined that the President was declared the winner with votes less than 50+1 per cent.

The Judges’ ruling in this petition will be final and cannot be appealed.

What does this mean for the country?

As the previous petition held in April 2013 was largely criticized by the people for fraud, Murithi Mutiga of the International Crisis Group think tank believes, however, this goes, some people will be dissatisfied. She said, “Even if the quality of the ruling is high, some people will be disappointed.”

Which can spell trouble in a country where elections routinely put pressure on ethnic and economic fault lines.

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