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(Ethno-political) Strategic Components of the Supreme Court of Kenya’s Presidential Election Decision: Settling for the lesser evil?

by Duncan Okubasu, Lecturer at Kabarak University School of Law and an Advocates of the High Court of Kenya

Few minutes after Kenya’s Supreme Court (SC) nullified President Uhuru’s re-election, his lawyer- Ahmednasir Abdullahi – in a press conference described the decision as political, having nothing to do with the law. Indeed, the demand of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that a presidential election must be determined within 14 days leaves SC judges with the constrained option of making an ‘intuitive’ decision and then following it with reasons at a later time. In the Raila v Kenyatta Case (2017), the SC completed hearing the dispute on 29 August 2017 and was expected to and did provide its ‘decision’ on 1 September 2017. It indicated in so doing that it would deliver a reasoned judgment within 21 days.

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