Lobby groups: Court verdict must be respected

March 31, 2013 2:15 pm


The Supreme Court judges unanimously upheld Kenyatta's election.  PHOTO/File.
The Supreme Court judges unanimously upheld Kenyatta’s election. PHOTO/File.
NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 31 – Civil society organizations on Sunday urged Kenyans to respect the decision delivered by the Supreme Court judges on Saturday when they upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect.

CRECO Programme Coordinator Regina Opondo said even though the scrutiny of the results had revealed some anomalies, Kenyans had no option but to respect the court decision and move forward.

“We recognize that almost half of the country had heavily invested in divergent views, nevertheless, the Supreme Court has acted as the final arbiter,” said Opondo.

In the historic judgment delivered on Saturday, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who is also the President of the Supreme Court, said Kenyatta and William Ruto, his running mate, had been “validly elected” thus the election had been “free, fair, transparent and credible”.

The organisations are now urging the Jubilee Coalition administration to withdraw its intention to enact its proposed Charities Act as indicated in the Jubilee Manifesto.

“We urge the Jubilee government to drop its manifesto which contains draconian and oppressive ideas in particular it attempt to curtail the legitimate activities of the civil society and limit public participation,” he stated.

The Act seeks to regulate political campaigns by NGOs.

Rights promotion and protection centre Executive Director Odhiambo Oyoko called on the incoming government to fully implement the Public Benefits Organisations Act which was passed by the Tenth Parliament.

Following the announcement of the ruling, there sporadic and minimal demonstrations in various parts of the country as supporters took to the streets in defiance of armed paramilitary police.

Odinga’s legal team filed a petition two weeks ago calling on the Supreme Court to nullify the election, alleging massive fraud in the March 4 polls.

Odinga had polled 43.31 per cent of the 12.3 million votes cast, against Kenyatta’s 50.07 per cent share. A narrow margin of just over 8,000 ballots edged Kenyatta over the 50 per cent threshold needed to avoid a run-off.


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