The August 8 Kenyan elections will probably be the most talked about on the continent for the next coming few months. There is no doubt about the impact the annulment the Kenyan election result will have in promoting the institution of democracy and constitutionalism on the continent. The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat in a press release “expressed satisfaction that the candidates opted for legal recourse to the dispute arising from the election.”
Unlike the 2007 Kenya elections that ended in crisis, Mahamat said “the Judgment advances a culture of democracy and peace, constitutionalism and rule of law in Kenya and Africa in general as enshrined in the 2000 Constitutive Act of the African Union and the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.”
Kenya has been identified as one of the countries in Africa with a corrupt judiciary in need of reformation. However, the recent ruling made by the Supreme Court, in which the Court annulled the August 8 election result has been seen as a big step forward. The President of the Supreme Court Chief Justice David Maraga has been celebrated as a brave man.
After the Supreme Court passed its ruling, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he respected the Court’s judgement though he disagreed. President Kenyatta was quoted in various reports calling CJ Maraga and the other Justices ‘crooks’. Kenyatta’s critical statements against the Supreme Court Judges have been widely condemned. Critics have argued that Kenyatta’s comments could spark crisis. Kenyatta also vowed to deal with the Court and the Chief Justice if re-elected.
Kenya’s next elections will take place on October 17. The opposition candidate Raila Odinga called for the total overhaul of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after the August 8 elections were proven to be fraught with electoral inconsistencies.
The AU’s Mahamat implored the candidates, political parties and coalitions to exercise their leadership to encourage their supporters and Kenyan population to fully accept the Supreme Court Judgement. The AU Commission Chairperson also urged all stakeholders to cooperatively take all necessary measures with a view to ensuring the fresh election is conducted successfully.