Nov. 20 (UPI) — Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election victory — his second in three months — sparking protests and battles with police by opposition supporters.
Kenyatta won the original Aug. 8 election, but the high court nullified the vote, citing irregularities, and called for a new election. Main opposition candidate Raila Odinga withdrew from the Oct. 30 vote rerun, saying no reforms were made to the election process.
Kenyatta won the revote in a landslide. and the high court ruled Monday the result will stand.
With the country torn between Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Odinga’s NASA Party, as well as an ethnic separation between Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe and Odinga’s Luo tribe, an inauguration is now set for Nov. 28.
The Jubilee Party celebrated Monday’s ruling outside the court building and across Kenya.
“The constitution has provided the right mechanisms and legal structure for uniting the country,” Kenya Parliament Majority Leader Aden Duale said. “There are plenty of forums provided to ensure that the country moves forward.”
A rally was held in Nairobi’s central business district, with party leaders thanking supporters for maintaining peace while the court considered its decision.
In Gishu County, a Kenyatta stronghold, Gov. Jackson Mandago said, “We agree with the court’s decision today and we ask NASA leaders to please ensure that peace prevails in their respective areas.”
Odinga’s latest statement said the elections were flawed and that the government and the election are illegitimate.
“It was a decision taken under duress. We do not condemn the court, we sympathize with it,” Odinga said.
One person was shot and killed by police in Nairobi’s Kibera neighborhood as opposition protesters clashed with police, and shops closed early to prevent looting.