Kenya: Two killed in protests after Supreme court verdict

*One protester was killed in Nairobi‘s Kibera slum, while a paramedic tending the injured at a demonstration in western Migori was also shot dead, Kenya police said.*

Kenya’s Supreme Court had on Monday validated the election victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta, sparking opposition protests that left two dead, according to police. While the court decision led to celebrations in ruling party strongholds, protesters took to the street in opposition areas in the capital and the west of the country. The death toll from four months of election crisis now stands at 54, with most of the protesters killed at the hands of the police, rights groups said.

Protests erupted after the Supreme Court dismissed two petitions seeking to overturn the victory of Kenyatta in October 26 elections, paving the way for him to be sworn in for a second five-year term on November 28. “The court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited. As a consequence, the presidential election of 26 October is hereby upheld as is the election of the third respondent,” said Chief Justice David Maraga, referring to Kenyatta.

Maraga had in September annulled the August election due to “irregularities and illegalities” a decision that was hailed across the world and hence, boosting Kenya’s democracy. The ruling welcomed by the opposition leader, Raila Odinga instigated wide protests, leaving the country divided. Accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of failing to make fundamental reforms to improve the vote, Odinga withdrew from the October ballot which he urged his followers to boycott. The boycott gave Kenyatta a landslide victory of 98 percent, but the election witnessed a 39 percent turnout.

In a statement, Odinga said the ruling “did not come as a surprise”, nor did it alter his opposition to a government he regards as illegitimate.

The court has unanimously determined that the petitions are not merited. As a consequence, the presidential election of 26 October is hereby upheld.

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