The Cater Center, one of the leading observer missions during the August 8th general elections and headed by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, on Friday released a press statement following the nullification of the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta by the Supreme Court.
The court, through Chief Justice David Maraga, ruled that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) "failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution" and ordered that a fresh election be held within 60 days.
Here is the statement from the Cater Center following the Supreme Court’s decision:
Following the decision issued today by Kenya’s Supreme Court, The Carter Center commends the court for conducting an open and transparent judicial process, which gave all parties the opportunity to be heard and ensured due process consistent with the constitution and laws of Kenya.
In response to an election petition challenging the results of the Aug. 8 presidential elections, the court ruled the election null and void based on irregularities and illegalities committed by the Independent Election and Boundary Commission (IEBC) in the transmission of results.
The Carter Center’s Aug. 10 preliminary statement following the election noted that election day voting and counting processes had functioned smoothly but that the electronic transmission of results proved unreliable.
The statement also noted that the IEBC’s tabulation process, if fully implemented, would allow for a high level of transparency and accountability. Following the elections, the co-leaders of the Center’s mission, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Prime Minister of Senegal Aminata Touré, publicly discussed concerns about the transmission of results and encouraged all stakeholders to cross-check results during the tallying process and to use established legal processes to address any concerns, and refrain from violence.
The Center issued another statement on Aug. 17 urging the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission to continue to collect and publish the results forms transparently, so that the overall integrity of the process could be verified.
In both statements, the Center stressed that the electoral process was not yet complete and that an overall assessment could not be given until its conclusion, including the resolution of any electoral petitions. Today’s ruling is both important and encouraging, because it highlights the independence of the Kenyan judiciary and its important role as a key institutional pillar in Kenya’s democracy.
The Center affirms the observations and conclusions in its Aug. 10 and Aug. 17 statements and notes that the Supreme Court’s ruling is focused on problems that occurred during the transmission of results that impacted its integrity, and not the voting or counting processes.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, it is incumbent on all Kenyans to accept the ruling and prepare for fresh elections. The Center urges the court to release its detailed ruling as soon as possible so that it can inform the new election process going forward, and further urges all stakeholders to support a fully transparent and peaceful process.