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Supreme Court judges retire to conference on poll verdict

A grinning Chief Justice David Maraga, his deputy Philomena Mwilu and JB Ojwang/MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – Supreme Court judges have now embarked on a three day retreat to prepare a ruling on the petition seeking to invalidate the October 26 repeat Presidential poll.

The judges will be determining whether Kenyans will be going back to the ballot for a third time to elect a new president or uphold the re- election of Uhuru Kenyatta.

The failure to conduct fresh nominations of candidates, the withdrawal of NASA from the exercise, the failure to conduct polls in 25 constituencies and low voter turnout are among the questions the judges are expected to answer when they give a ruling.

The closure of the hearings on Thursday followed a two-day hearing during which petitioners, respondents and interested parties made oral submissions before the court.

Chief Justice David Maraga said the six-judge bench will render a ruling thanking parties in the matter for conducting themselves with decorum.

Justice Mohammed Ibrahim has been away on account of ill-health since the court begun hearing the petitions.

Justice Ibrahim fell sick at the start of the hearing of the August 8 presidential election petition which resulted in the nullification of the election and an order that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) organise a fresh poll within 60 days.

The court in a majority ruling of four against two dissenting judges made a finding that the August presidential election was marred by massive illegalities and irregularities.

The court at the time was considering a petition filed by National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka who argued the August election had been fatally compromised and infiltrated.

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Odinga and Kalonzo did not, however, challenge the October 26 presidential election in court insisting that they did not recognise the election; having withdrawn from it on October 10 on account of failure by IEBC to carry otu reforms NASA had recommended.

The petitions were filed instead by former Kilome MP Harun Mwau, and activists Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa.

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