Kenya’s Wafula Chebukati: I will not step down

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win, citing irregularities, and ordered a new poll within 60 days.

Supporters of Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi on 1 September 2017 after Kenya's Supreme Court ordered a new presidential election. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Kenya’s electoral commission chairperson Wafula Chebukati says he will not step down in the wake of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling declaring August’s presidential elections invalid.

“I listened to the Supreme Court judgement and I didn’t hear anything about the chairperson of the commission with regards to what happened in August’s election.

“The commission urged all Kenyans to remain calm and restrain themselves from any political rhetoric that may undermine the stability and cohesion of our country.”

The ruling, which was broadcast to a stunned nation on national television, sets up a new race for the presidency between Uhuru Kenyatta and veteran opponent Raila Odinga.

Kenyatta has called for calm and respect for the ruling, while Odinga’s cheering supporters have paraded in the streets of his western Kenyan heartland.

August’s election results sparked protests and sporadic violence that killed at least 28 people.

Kenya, a US ally in the fight against Islamists and a trade gateway to East Africa, has a history of disputed votes.

A row over the 2007 poll, which Odinga challenged after being declared loser, was followed by weeks of ethnic bloodshed that killed more than 1,200 people. Kenya’s economy, the biggest in the region, slid into recession and neighbouring economies wobbled.

Judge David Maraga announced the Supreme Court’s verdict that was backed by four of the six judges, saying the declaration of Kenyatta’s victory was “invalid, null and void”.

Details of the ruling will be released within 21 days.

Kenya now has 60 days to hold fresh polls.

WATCH: Kenyan supreme court annuls poll results

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)