The Good and Ugly of African democracies in 2017

Fredrick Ngugi December 28, 2017

Kenyan opposition supporters

Kenyan opposition supporters. Photo credit: KMIZ

Nullification of Kenyan Presidential Election Results

Kenya, one of the leading democracies in Africa, will remain in the history books as the first African country where results of a presidential election were nullified in a court of law. Following the declaration of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the August 8 presidential poll, the Kenyan opposition coalition NASA filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging his win.

To many people’s surprise, the court upheld NASA’s claims and declared Kenyatta’s win as null and void. For opposition supporters, the court’s decision was proof of a maturing democracy, but for President Kenyatta and his supporters the court robbed them of their victory.

Although the ruling left Kenya divided almost right in the middle, it went down in history as a momentous decision that sets standards for Africa and the rest of the world. Up until September 1, when the ruling was made, nobody ever imagined that a court could nullify the re-election of a sitting African President.

Sadly, the opposition boycotted the repeat poll and called for nationwide protests. The whole electoral fiasco, which lasted for three months, left more than one hundred people dead and many others nursing serious injuries.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


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