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Summary

  1. Kenya's Supreme Court declares election null and void
  2. Said electoral commission did not act in accordance with the law
  3. New election to be held within 60 days
  4. Two of six judges disagreed with majority verdict
  5. Massive celebrations by opposition supporters in Nairobi and Kisumu
  6. President Kenyatta 'respects' the ruling but 'disagrees' with it
  7. He describes judges as 'thugs' when talking to his supporters in Swahili

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for today's stories from Kenya

We'll be back next week

That's all from BBC Africa Live on the Kenyan presidential election result being cancelled.

It's been an historic day for the country and the continent.

Here are the key points:

  • The Supreme Court anulled the presidential election result
  • They blamed irregularities in the transmission of results
  • A full report from the Supreme Court on the details of the irregularities will be published within 21 days
  • A fresh election is due within 60 days
  • Opposition leader Raila Odinga hailed the ruling
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta called for peace and said he respected the result even though he disagreed with it
  • He later said chief justice and his thugs" cancelled election

To find out the latest in the country check the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

He who wishes to barter does not like his belongings."

An Igbo #proverb sent by Azuka Omonuwe in Lagos, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this visual metaphor for the crossroads ahead in Kenya:

A supporter of The National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga stands on top of a street sign post that has been relabeled "Judge Maraga Lane", referring to Chief Justice David Maraga, and "Orengo Street", referring to NASA"s lawyer James Orengo, in front of the Supreme Court in central Nairobi, Kenya, 01 September 2017. K
EPA

Another observer mission fends off criticism

John Kerry
Reuters
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry led the Carter Center's observer mission

The US-based Carter Center, which sent a team to watch August's polls in Kenya, has said that its observers "publicly discussed concerns about the transmission of results" when they were there.

It noted that the Supreme Court suggested that the problem with the result was in the way they were transmitted to the election centre rather than in the voting and counting at the polling station.

The observer missions are fending off criticism after people had the impression that they had given the election a clean bill of health.

What they are all emphasising is that they said the vote itself went well and the problems came later.

View more on twitter

EU observer defends its poll analysis

One of the questions that has come up a few times today is - how come the international observer missions gave their stamps of approval for the Kenyan election, only for it to be declared null and void by Kenya's Supreme Court.

Earlier we reported that the Commonwealth observer mission's defense was that they were only judging the poll, not the count.

The Head of the Mission Marietje Schaake told BBC World News that they had flagged up issues with the count:

"We looked at the campaign and the days afterwards. As the tallying was going on and forms needed to be uploaded there were some challenges and those challenges."

She added that it was these challenges that are being tackled in court and she awaits the full judgement to see what evidence the Supreme Court has found.

election
Reuters

Kenyatta says chief justice 'and his thugs' cancelled election

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Uhuru Kenyatta
Reuters
President Uhuru Kenyatta was talking to his supporters in the Burma Market area of the capital, Nairobi

President Uhuru Kenyatta has again criticised the Supreme Court judges for overturning the 8 August election, which the electoral commission had declared in his favour last month.

He was addressing an impromptu rally of supporters at a popular market in the capital, Nairobi, which was broadcast live by the privately-owned NTV.

“A few people have sat there thinking they know it all, but we have said, because we believe in peace and because we believe in the rule of law, let them say what they want,” Mr Kenyatta said, speaking in Swahili.

The president had earlier said the ruling went “against the will of the people”, but pledged to respect it.

He told his supporters:

Let those five, six people know, since the Kenyan people will still decide, they should wait for us to act after the people have made their decision.

We are keeping a close eye on them. We are keeping a close eye on them. But let us deal with the election first. We are not afraid."

Mr Kenyatta also said that the judges were “paid by foreigners and other fools”.

[Chief Justice] Maraga and his thugs have decided to cancel the election. Now I am no longer the president-elect. I am the serving president... Maraga should know that he is now dealing with the serving president."

Election observer defends record

Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland has said that "there is concern about how the technical counting may have taken place" after its election observers gave its verdict on last month's poll in Kenya.

She was responding on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme to the criticism that the Commonwealth's election observers had given the election their stamp of approval, only for the result to be declared null and void.

She pointed out that Commonwealth approval was given the day after the election so only referred to the poll itself.

She also urged caution to not make any conclusions about the count before the fuller judgement by the Supreme Court is released.

Analysis: Kenya 'now in nervous limbo'

Alastair Leithead

BBC Africa correspondent

The decision by the Supreme Court of Kenya to annul the results of the presidential election and demand a new poll within 60 days is both good, and bad, for Kenya.

It shows the independence of the judiciary and its willingness to take controversial and unprecedented action despite a perilously short time frame.

But it also leaves Kenya in the same nervous limbo it suffered in the days following the election, while people anxiously waited for the results and what the losers’ reaction to defeat would be.

The country was paralysed because it has been down the road of contested elections before, and ten years ago it ended in bloodshed.

Most suspected some form of interference, intimidation and cheating in the election, but felt Uhuru Kenyatta’s wide margin of victory would be enough for the court to uphold the result.

But now it’s back to square one.

Polling station
AFP
Kenyans will have to go to the polls again at some point in the next 60 days

Where we are now

People celebrating
AFP
Opposition supporters have been celebrating the ruling

Events in Kenya have been moving fast since Kenya's Supreme Court annulled last month's presidential election result this morning.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta had been declared the winner, beating his main rival Raila Odinga by 1.5 million votes.

Here's a quick summary of events:

  • The Supreme Court ruled by a majority decision that the election "was not conducted in accordance with the constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared result invalid, null and void"
  • It said there were "irregularities and illegalities in the transmission of results" and these irregularities affected the integrity of the election
  • The court found no evidence of misconduct on the part of Mr Kenyatta
  • A new election has to be held within 60 days
  • Mr Odinga's supporters celebrated in Nairobi and in his western stronghold of Kisumu
  • Wafula Chebukati, head of the electoral commission, the IEBC, said he will not resign
  • President Kenyatta said he respected the ruling even though he did not agree with it, asking how six judges can overturn the will of the people
  • He also called for peace
  • Mr Odinga said it was an unprecedented ruling in Africa adding that "Kenya is leading Africa as it so often does"

Uhuru Kenyatta
Reuters
President Kenyatta addressed his supporters in Nairobi and called for peace

Kenya ruling makes news elsewhere

Today's decision by Kenya's Supreme Court is making news elsewhere on the continent as it's the first time an African opposition party has successfully challenged a presidential election result in court.

One of Uganda's leading papers has already put the ruling on the front page of its Saturday edition:

View more on twitter

Odinga asks who will run the next election

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga is asking who will run the next election:

"There are more fundamental decisions to be made in the days ahead, including who will conduct the next elections."

"It is now clear that the entire IEBC [electoral commission] is rotten," he said.

"It is clear that the real election results were never shared with Kenyans. Someone must take responsibility."

He demanded criminal prosecutions and an inquiry.

Odinga critical of observers

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga has said today's verdict "puts on trial" the international observers who "moved so fast to sanitise fraud".

He added: "Their role must be re-examined as it is highly politicised."

International observers praised the election in the immediate aftermath of the poll.

In today's decision, the chief justice said that President Uhuru Kenyatta was not involved in any fraud.

Odinga thanks Supreme Court

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga has added to his speech about today's ruling, saying the Supreme Court is "setting this exceptional example for all of Africa".

"Our judiciary now knows they have the power," he added.

"We thank the Supreme Court for standing up for the truth."

Breaking'A new Kenya has been born'

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga is speaking about today's Supreme Court ruling annulling last month's presidential election result.

He took the case to court challenging the result.

He said: "Never again will immunity reign again in Kenya.. a new Kenya has been born.

"Kenya is leading Africa as it so often does."

Screengrab
KTN

Praise for Kenya's judges

#SupremeCourtDecides is the big trending hashtag on Twitter in Kenya today as people digest this morning's ruling that annulled last month's presidential election result.

And in many tweets the panel of judges, in particular Chief Justice David Maraga, have been the subject of praise:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

And today's events may have inspired some to get into the law:

View more on twitter

But, of course, President Kenyatta himself has questioned how six judges can overturn the will of millions of people.

Analysis: What now for Kenya?

Dickens Olewe

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Raila Odinga will feel vindicated against accusations that he was just being a bad loser in challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta's win.

However, this historic decision is a massive indictment of the electoral commission. It is therefore no surprise that the opposition Nasa coalition is now calling for a new team to manage the next elections.

This is also a setback for the international, and some local, election observers, who praised the election as free, fair and credible.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, observers for the general election in Kenya, greet each other next to former Senegalese Prime Minister Aminata Toure
Reuters
Thabo Mbeki, John Kerry and Aminata Toure were all observers in last month's election

People will be watching for the reaction of former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was the head of the mission for US NGO, the Carter Centre, whose positive assessment of the election was used in court.

Regardless of the winners and losers following the ruling, this is a proud moment for Kenya. The litigation and debate on the merits of the election was done at the Supreme Court and not on the streets.

Chief Justice Maraga said it best in his opening statement: "The greatness of a nation lies in its fidelity to the constitution and the strict adherence to the rule of law."

Ruling was 'judicial coup d'etat'

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that, while he disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling that cancelled his victory in last month's presidential poll, he respects it.

But one of his lawyers is not so respectful - saying the decision was made by a "third world court" and that the judges were taking over:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Catch up on Kenya election decision in under a minute

If you are just catching up with the news that Kenya's election has been annulled, we've made this video to help you get up to speed:

Kenyatta: 'Take the hand of your sister'

President Uhuru Kenyatta has just reiterated his call for peace by tweeting:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Amani means peace in Swahili.

He repeated the word amani at least six times in his speech in the last hour.

He said earler that he did not agree with the decision to annul the election in which he had been declared the winner, but that he would respect it.

Kenyan shares tumble

Russell Padmore

Business correspondent, BBC News

Kenyan shares, which rallied after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the now-annulled election, tumbled today, prompting the authorities to suspend trading at the financial market in Nairobi for half an hour.

On Thursday, the Kenyan shilling had risen to a five-month high against the US dollar, driven by investors abroad trading in the local financial markets.

However today, the shilling weakened and Kenya's dollar-denominated bonds fell in value.

Business operations have generally continued uninterrupted, but there will now be a sense of caution and even anxiety about the impact on the economy.

Many businesses in Nairobi and other parts of the country closed in the days after the election last month over fears of possible protests. The renewed uncertainty will make them wary of trading in the next few days.

Shops closed
EPA

There is concern that foreign and domestic investors waiting to start new projects, or put more money into existing ones, might now hold back their funds, pending the outcome of the fresh elections ordered by the court.

What the two dissenting judges said

Judges
Reuters

The Kenyan Supreme Court ruling to annul the presidential election was made earlier by a majority vote.

But not all judges agreed - two of the six dissented.

We are taking a moment to look at exactly why they thought the election should not be annulled.

Lady Justice Njoki Ndung'u said:

The exercise was hailed by regional and international observers as largely free, fair, credible and peaceful... Challenges are to be expected during the conduct of any election. However those challenges that occurred in this instance… in my opinion none occurred deliberately."

Justice Jackton Ojwang said:

It is clear to me, beyond peradventure, that there is not an iota of merit in invalidating the clear expression of the Kenyan people's democratic will."

In the end, the majority decision was that the election was not conducted in line with the constitution and the results were declared null and void.

Chief Justice David Maraga said the full reasoning will be explained at a later date but in the meantime said:

We will, I believe, be able to demonstrate why we reached our conclusion - that taking the totality of the entire exercise we were satisfied that the election was not conducted accordance with the dictates of the constitution.”

Supporters come out for Kenyatta in his home town

Supporter
BBC

Supporters of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta have come out to support him in his home town Gatundo, north-east of the capital, Nairobi.

The election commission announced that Mr Kenyatta won last month's presidential election but that result has been annulled by the Supreme Court this morning.

One resident told the BBC's Peter Njoroge:

"The town is calm but with a sad mood".

They added that they came out in large numbers to support the president.

supporters
BBC
Supporters
BBC

What's unprecedented about the ruling

The BBC Africa Live team has been debating the unprecedented nature of today's decision by Kenya's Supreme Court to annul the result of last month's presidential election.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who took the case to court, said this was the first time that this has happened in Africa.

In the last 30 years there are other examples where results have been annulled or elections have been cancelled.

  • 1991/2 - Algeria - military cancelled the second round of parliamentary elections which looked like they were going to be won by the Islamic Salvation Front
  • 1993 - Nigeria - election of Moshood Abiola as president was annulled by the military leader at the time, Ibrahim Babangida
  • 2010 - Ivory Coast - the Constitutional Council annulled the result of the presidential election after opposition leader Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner

So we think that today's ruling makes Kenya the first African country where an opposition court challenge against a presidential poll result has been successful.

Raila Odinga
EPA
Opposition leader Raila Odinga hailed the decision as historic for Africa

BreakingKenyatta: I disagree with ruling but respect it

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has said: "I personally disagree with the ruling but I respect it."

"I disagree with it because millions of Kenyans... made their choice and six people have decided that they will go against the will of the people."

He was referring to the panel of six judges who made the ruling at the Supreme Court that nullified last month's presidential election result.

Mr Kenyatta had been announced the winner of the poll.

The ruling was made by majority decision - 4-2.

Kenyatta addresses nation and calls for peace

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for peace in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to annul last month's presidential election.

He said "take the hand of your brother and your sister and shake it and say 'amani' - peace... and I repeat again peace".

"Your neighbour will still be your neighbour... regardless of political affiliation."

Election boss wants prosecutor to investigate

Making his first comments since the judgement, Wafula Chebukati, the head of Kenya's electoral commission, IEBC, said he will implement the judges' decision to rerun the election.

He added that the commission will make changes to personnel and processes in advance of the fresh election, due in 60 days time.

Mr Chebukati argued that the problem that judges identified was in the transmission of the results rather than in the voting and counting processes at the polling stations.

He also invited Kenya's chief prosecutor to investigate any staff who may have been involved in breaking election laws.

And he urged the Supreme Court to publish its full ruling, which it has to do within 21 days, so it can make changes to its processes as soon as possible.

Wafula Chebukati
Reuters
Last month, Mr Chebukati announced that Uhuru Kenyatta had won the presidential election. That result has now been overturned.

BreakingElection body chief: I will not resign

The chairperson of Kenya's electoral commission, the IEBC, Wafula Chebukati has said he will not resign in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to annul last month's presidential election result.

Screengrab of electoral commissioner
KTN

Kenya's 'resilient democracy' praised

Ambassadors from the US, Canada and various European countries have issued a joint statement praising Kenya in the wake of the court decision annulling last month's presidential election result.

They described the decision as "an important moment for Kenya".

The court’s independent review has demonstrated Kenya’s resilient democracy and commitment to the rule of law.

Kenya’s electoral institutions now must begin preparing for a new presidential poll later this year and we urge everyone to work to make it free, fair, credible, and peaceful.

Supporter of opposition celebrating
EPA
Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga have been celebrating the court's ruling

Chief Justice Maraga 'makes Kenyans proud'

Our reporter in Kenya's opposition stronghold of Kisumu in the west of the country has been in the midst of the celebrations following the Supreme Court decision to annul the presidential election result that gave victory to Uhuru Kenyatta:

We congratulate [Chief Justice] David Maraga. He has made Kenyans proud."

What we're telling observers [who praised the election] is that the verdict of Kenya has come to be seen today."

Woman celebrates on the street
BBC
Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga have been celebrating on the streets of his stronghold Kisumu

Kenyatta to address Kenyans

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has remained quiet throughout the court process, is due to speak to the nation shortly, according to this tweet from his spokesperson:

View more on twitter

'Disappointed with the ruling' - Kenyatta lawyer

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legal team has condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify his re-election.

The six-judge bench issued a majority ruling upholding a petition filed by the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa), and ordered a fresh election in 60 days.

In its judgement, the court did not suggest any wrongdoing from Mr Kenyatta:

We are disappointed with the ruling. We think it has no basis in law. We have said it in court and we are repeating it, that it is a political decision that is absolutely devoid of an iota of legal reasoning but we will live with it."

Ahmednassir AbdullahiPart of Mr Kenyatta's legal team

Kenya's electoral commission promises to speak

Kenya's electoral commission, the IEBC, is at the centre of the storm around the annulled presidential election.

If you're wondering why we haven't reported its side of the story, it is because the commissioners have not said anything yet.

But that is about to change.

They have said they'll be addressing the press in just under half an hour.

ballot box
Reuters

Kenya election annulment explained in a minute

If you're suffering from information overload over the news that Kenya's presidential election has been annulled, listen to the BBC's Solomon Mugera sum up the whole story in exactly a minute:

Why the Supreme Court nullified the result?

Supreme Court IT experts' evidence

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Here are the details of the IT expert's evidence from earlier this week:

  • Nearly a third of the results forms have irregularities: some are blank, some are signed in the same handwriting, some come from polling stations that didn’t officially exist, some show results that differed from the totals, and from the totals announced by the electoral commission, and thousands lack official stamps, signatures, and watermarks
  • Some five million votes, enough to affect the outcome, were not verified
  • On examining the electoral commission logs the Supreme Court-appointed team found that numerous unauthorised users had entered the system before and after the election

Chief Justice David Maraga said that the court will release the full ruling in due course.

Where was the missing judge?

The judgement today made to annul Kenya's presidential election was made by six judges.

There are meant to be seven judges on the Supreme Court bench.

One resident in Kiambu, an Uhuru Kenyatta stronghold, told the BBC's Peter Njoroge that, for him, this looks suspicious:

Personally we took the Supreme Court decision as very political. First of all we are very suspicious of the disappearing of [judge] Ibrahim Mohamed. We are told he fell sick, but yet we are doubting because most of the time we expect a seven judges bench, yet we are given six."

vox
BBC

The full bench was meant to consist of Chief Justice David Maraga, his Deputy Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu, Lady Justice Njoki Ndung'u, and justices Smokin Wanjala, Mohamed Khadhar Ibrahim, Jackton Boma Ojwang and Isaac Lenaola, the Conversation website reported earlier this week.

Our reporter says that there's a calm atmosphere in Kiambu and though people were not expecting this ruling they say they will maintain peace and will be ready to vote again.

'The judgement is fake' - pro-Kenyatta lawmaker

Kenyan Senator Irungu Kang'ata, who is from the Jubilee Party of Uhuru Kenyatta, has been objecting to the Supreme Court ruling that annulled last month's presidential election result giving Mr Kenyatta victory.

He told Kenya's KTN News that the judges admitted that they hadn't had time to read all the submissions:

The judgement is fake... There is an admission on the part of the chief justice that he has only read a part of the evidence... why not await the reading of all the documents?"

Screengrab
KTN

As the Supreme Court is Kenya's highest court the ruling cannot be challenged.

Unprecedented court ruling?

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga says that today's Supreme Court ruling annulling the presidential election is unprecedented in Africa.

We're scratching our heads to find any other examples on the continent - but there are a few global examples in recent years where a court has annulled a presidential vote:

  • Ukraine in 2004
  • Maldives in 2013
  • Austria in 2016

Annulling Kenya's presidential election: What we know so far

Judges
Reuters

If you're just checking the Africa Live page for the first time today, there has been some big news: Kenya's presidential election has been annulled.

Here's what we know so far:

  • Kenya’s Supreme Court overturned the results of last month’s presidential election
  • It called for a new vote within 60 days
  • Four out of six judges said irregularities harmed the integrity of the vote
  • The judges said Kenya’s electoral commission had not conducted the vote in line with the constitution
  • This follows an opposition alliance challenge, which said the vote was fraudulent
  • It said the electronic system used in the process had failed
  • The election results had put President Uhuru Kenyatta more than a million votes ahead of Raila Odinga of the opposition Nasa alliance
  • Today’s court ruling is a major victory for the opposition alliance. It had initially said it did not trust the courts to make a fair decision but later went ahead with a legal challenge.
  • The announcement is unprecedented in Africa, the opposition says
  • The full judgement will be published within 21 days

Kenya election judgement: Celebrations in Nairobi

The BBC's Roderick MaCleod filmed these opposition supporters in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, celebrating the court ruling annulling the presidential election:

Kenya ruling: More celebration in Kisumu

The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has sent more video from the opposition stronghold of Kisumu in western Kenya.

You can see large crowds gathering on the city's main streets:

Parts of Kisumu saw confrontations between police and opposition supporters immediately following last month's election when results showed that President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the lead.

The election result has now been annulled.

How will attitudes change to Kenya's Supreme Court?

Our African security correspondent notes:

View more on twitter

Odinga: Historic day in Kenya and Africa

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga has described the Supreme Court's annulment of last month's presidential election result as a "very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa".

He called it a precedent-setting ruling, saying it had never happened before in Africa.

Odinga press conference
KTN