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Kenyans react to Supreme Court decision to uphold President Kenyatta’s re-election

By Hillary Orinde | Published Mon, November 20th 2017 at 12:38, Updated November 20th 2017 at 15:24 GMT +3

"The court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited. As a consequence, the presidential election of 26 October is hereby upheld as is the election of the third respondent,” Chief Justice David Maraga climaxed the summary verdict.

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A decision by Kenya’s apex court to unanimously uphold President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election for a second term, igniting checkered reactions across the country.

Outside the Supreme Court premises, Majority leader of the National Assembly Aden Duale drew a sigh of relief and reiterated that they are ready to continue the development agenda they had initiated.

“We are happy with the decision. The last two months Kenya has gone through serious constitutional procedures as anchored in our law, we can now embark on swearing in the president next Tuesday November 28 and unite the people,” said Duale.

“We were right the first time. This is a judgement that they should have delivered on September 1. It has come late and at a great cost. I am glad that the second time they got it right,” President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullah said outside the courtroom.

This is as supporters of the ruling coalition Jubilee broke into dance and song in Nairobi’s Central Business District to celebrate the ruling.

In Eldoret where Uhuru enjoys unwavering support, area Governor Jackson Mandago led an elated group in praising the Supreme Court.

“The Maraga court that nullified the August 8 election has ratified the October 26 elections, we agree with the decision. We want to ask National Super Alliance supporters to give us to time too to celebrate,” said Mandago.

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Elsewhere in Mombasa, a county that largely boycotted the repeat polls, the moods were dampened with normal operations going on within the city even as many expressed reservations on the ruling.

“We are not happy. We were expecting Justice Maraga to give us another chance at a clear election,” decried a resident of Kisauni.

In opposition’s perceived strong hold Kisumu, a cross section of chaotic and disgruntled locals engaged police in running battles.  A situation that was contained with more police deployed to the area.

Opposition Chief Raila Odinga through a statement released by his advisor, Salim Lone spoke out on the ruling.

“We in NASA had repeatedly declared before this Supreme Court ruling today that we consider this government to be illegitimate and do not recognize it. This position has not been changed by the Court ruling, which did not come as a surprise. It was a decision taken under duress. We do not condemn the Court, we sympathize with it,” Raila maintained.

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Scores of Kenyans also took to social media to express their feeling on the ruling.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) director of communication Philip Etale on Twitter wrote ‘We WITHDREW From the election, therefore there was no election on 26th of Oct. And we are not part of the SCORK decision. Therefore NASA supporters should wait for the PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY which is in the KITCHEN and the SUMMIT will be at the end of the week’


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