Kenya’s Odinga files court challenge to presidential poll result

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Kenya’s defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga filed an online petition to the country’s top court on Monday challenging the result of the August 9 election that handed victory to his rival William Ruto, his lawyer told AFP.

Odinga, a veteran opposition leader who ran with the backing of the ruling party, has rejected the outcome of the poll, branding it a “travesty.” He narrowly lost to Ruto by around 230,000 votes — less than two percentage points.

“It has already been sent to them and they will see it soon,” Daniel Maanzo, a member of the 77-year-old politician’s legal team, said of the petition. “We have hopes that we have made a good case and will win,” he added. Paul Mwangi, who is also representing Odinga, told AFP that a physical copy of the petition would be filed before the Supreme Court’s 2 pm (1100 GMT) deadline.

Although polling day passed off peacefully, the announcement of the results a week ago sparked angry protests in some Odinga strongholds and there are fears that a drawn-out dispute may lead to violence in a country with a history of post-poll unrest. Since 2002, every presidential election in Kenya has triggered a dispute, with this year’s outcome also causing a rift within the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which oversaw the poll.—AFP

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