Kenyatta to be sworn in President

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Saturday upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s next President, ending an election season that riveted the nation amid fears of a repeat of the 2007-08 postelection violence.

However, outbreaks of violence by angry Odinga supporters were reported in some Nairobi slums and truckloads of police were called in to quell the demonstrations.

Jubilant Kenyatta supporters flooded the streets of downtown Nairobi, honking horns, blowing the noisy plastic horns known as a vuvuzelas and chanting.

Saturday’s verdict following a drawn-out court case that raised tensions across the nation means that Mr. Kenyatta will be sworn in as President early next month. He will become the second sitting President in Africa to face charges at the International Criminal Court. Mr. Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect William Ruto both face charges that they helped orchestrate the 2007-08 postelection violence in which more than 1,000 people died. Both deny the charges. Lawyers for challenger Raila Odinga had argued before the Supreme Court that the election was marred by irregularities and that Mr. Kenyatta did not win enough votes to avoid a runoff election.

According to official results, Mr. Kenyatta won 50.07 per cent of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff election against Mr. Odinga, who said his case before the Supreme Court would put Kenya’s democracy on trial.

But the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict said the election was “conducted in compliance with the constitution and the law” and that Mr. Kenyatta was “validly elected”. Accepting the verdict, Mr. Odinga, at a press conference, said “The court has now spoken,” and added that he wished Mr. Kenyatta and his team well.

More In: World | International | News