Kenya’s veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga will challenge the results of this month’s presidential election in the Supreme Court on Monday, his legal team said, the latest twist in a political clash that has gripped East Africa’s powerhouse. “Yes we shall,” lawyer Paul Mwangi replied to a Reuters query by text.
Last week the election commissioner declared Deputy President William Ruto had won the election by a slim margin, but four out of seven election commissioners dissented, saying the tallying of results had not been transparent. This is Odinga’s fifth stab at the presidency; he blamed several previous losses on rigging. Those disputes triggered violence that claimed more than 100 lives in 2017 and more than 1,200 lives in 2007.
In 2017, the Supreme Court overturned the election result and ordered a re-run, which Odinga boycotted, saying he had no faith in the election commission. This time, Odinga is backed by the political establishment. President Uhuru Kenyatta endorsed Odinga’s candidacy after falling out with Ruto after the last election.
At stake is control of East Africa’s wealthiest and most stable nation, home to regional headquarters for firms like General Electric, Google, and Uber. Kenya also provides peacekeepers for neighbouring Somalia and frequently hosts peace talks for other nations in the turbulent East Africa region.
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