Kenyan Supreme Court admits petition against possible victory of Deputy President Ruto in elections

Kenya’s Supreme Court will hear a petition to rule on a possible victory for the country’s deputy president, William Ruto, in this week’s presidential elections, in the face of allegations of irregularities in the candidacy of his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, who is under investigation for corruption.

The petition has been filed by a group of activists who have called for the annulment of Ruto’s candidacy for being accompanied by a citizen under investigation for a crime.

“The file will be submitted to the Deputy Chief Justice for the formation of a tribunal to hear and determine the petition on the record. The parties will be informed when the ruling will be delivered,” the deputy registrar of the high court, Bernard Kasavuli, has told ‘The Nation’ newspaper.

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Both Ruto and Gachagua have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case on the grounds that the court not only lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, but that the suit is “incompetent and hopelessly defective both in form and substance” and only seeks to exhaust in higher courts a petition that must first be resolved in lower instances.

Meanwhile, the country continues to await the final result of an election that pits Ruto against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, favorite in the polls and chosen for succession by the outgoing president of the country, Uhuru Kenyatta.

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The European Union’s election observation mission in Kenya has stressed Thursday that last Tuesday’s general elections took place “peacefully” — a welcome exception to the violence that has shaken Kenyan elections in recent years — and that fundamental rights were respected, although it considers that there is room for improvement in procedural matters.

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