Raila Odinga Hires George Bush's Former Lawyer to Challenge Election Results
Raila Odinga, Kenya’s outgoing prime minister, has hired George W. Bush’s former lawyer to challenge presidential election results in the supreme court, claiming polls were so shambolic they should be cancelled.
Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner a week ago after reaching the threshold needed to avert a run-off by a 0.07 per cent margin – 8,418 votes out of 12.4m cast, according to official results.
But some observers questioned the integrity of the vote after electronic safeguards designed to prevent fraud failed. Mr Odinga said “rampant illegalities” made the outcome unclear.
“The prime minister wants a whole new election,” lawyer William Burck, who was deputy counsel for President Bush, told the Financial Times the day before the 20-strong legal team was due to hand in its petition.
“It’s a bigger ask than a run-off but I think [a rerun] is what’s required – an inevitable result of a catastrophic failure of the election system,” said Mr Burck. “We think . . . that this thing was never meant to succeed.”
A biometric identification system to eliminate multiple voting largely failed and an electronic transmission system, to provide a speedy reference to cross-check paper results, broke down during the vote tally. The safeguards had been intended to prevent a repeat of 2007 elections, when allegations of massive fraud triggered violence that brought the country to the edge of civil war.
Mediators negotiated a coalition government to end ethnic attacks and an independent inquiry subsequently ruled that malpractices were so widespread it was impossible to tell who won.
Mr Burck, who worked closely with the team that handled the “hanging chad” controversy, a reference to indecipherable voting intentions, that determined the outcome of the 2000 US election, said evidence of new problems was being unearthed every day despite “obstruction” from Kenya’s independent election body, the IEBC.
“We’re focused on the things we can prove dictated by the lack of time,” he said. “In the US, if you had such a fundamental breakdown . . . a US court would say this is not a reliable vote.”
The IEBC said they could not hand over the results within the stipulated time. Mr Odinga’s representatives instead had to install their own photocopiers at the national tallying centre as they raced to hand in their submission.
The team will file their petition to meet a Saturday deadline to contest the results. The Supreme Court has 14 days to rule. Should it determine in Mr Odinga’s favour, the country would have 60 days to hold a fresh election.
Lawyers in the team point to “dozens” of cases where turnout exceeded 100 per cent, numbers on results forms that have been visibly altered by pen or with Tipp-Ex and say there were three different voter registers, in which the number ultimately grew despite claims new versions were issued to eradicate duplicate entries. Party agents were also ejected from a room where they were meant to verify results forms.
Some observers have said Mr Odinga’s chances of winning any fresh election would be even smaller than in the first vote given a new incumbent is declared. But Mr Odinga insists there is a larger point at stake.
“If this is allowed to stand, there will be no point in having elections in the future,” Mr Odinga told the FT in an interview this week. “I’m in this for a cause – to democratise this country.”
- Financial Times
Monica, is yours an issue with the "election process" or with Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities? lf its the later, as you have indicated, you may be in for a rude shock. Elsewhere, just before the elections, a reknowned political commentator presented his "tyranny of numbers" scenario and correctly predicted that Jubilee would win. lts simple math - GEMA numbers are huge, to say the least and then when you add the Kalenjin vote, you already have almost 50% of the country. lts simply very hard to beat . My advice to you is to stand up and fight together with your preferred candidate for an audit of the process rather than begrudge the ethnicity involved, at least for the time being.Otherwise, please read Muriithi Mutiga's article appearing today Sunday, March 17 2013 on how to counter the tyranny of numbers
Hey Monicah Wangari, stop being so racial,,,,this only reflects your stupidity or ignorance. Ati Raila has hired George Bush's lawyer....so instead of creating jobs in Kenya Raila prefers to higher a foreign national. so Kenya hakuna qualified lawyers....no wonder you lost in the elections,,,what kind of a president outsources jobs to other countries.....Enda ujenge nyumba ocha ndio you retire huko,,,Kenya needs young leaders, dot com...so Raila Stop chasing a black cat in a dark room:):):):)
Mr William Burck did not win the Gore vs Bush case because of his skill, experience or intellect, but because of the composition of the supreme court. On many matters that come before the supreme court, it is predictable how they gonna vote regardless of the arguments. The only thing that is not predictable is how Justice Anthony Kennedy will vote to break the tie.
In the Kenyan case,this is going to be determined by whether Willy Mutunga will divorce himself from his idealogical and personal commitment to Odingaism, and follow the law. The scenario of following the law is not entirely unlikely. Justice John Roberts shocked many including the liberals when he voted with the liberal judges to rule that "obamacare" was constitutional.
Ms. Wangari, you and others like you completely miss the purpose of holding free and fair democratic elections and the right of one person one vote as enshrined in our Constitution - i.e. for the electorates to vote for whomever they choose. If the only purpose of the 2007 and 2013 presidential elections were to give Raila the Presidency win or lose, then why not just take turns and don't bother holding presidential elections? You are entitled to your opinion that “only raila amollo can bring change in this country” but you should remember that Kenya is not a kingdom nor is Raila a Prince to be automatically crowned the President and Head of State of the Republic of Kenya.
If the West wants to impose Raila to the Kenyan people, they should lead by examples - elect Native American, Jew, Muslim, Hispanic or other minority group as President in the US; or elect Irish, Scottish, Black, Arab or Muslim as Prime Minister in Britain. Like everyone else with presidential ambitions, Raila must earn this highest privilege from the Kenyan people. He can run crying to his Western masters as much as he wants every time he loses, but the Kenyan people have on three occasions (1997, 2007 & 2013) rejected his brand of divisive and often violent politics disguised as fight for fairness and democracy. Even if the Supreme Court were to rule in his favor, he will lose again; this time worse than in the first round! Therefore, if he loves his country, he should realize that because of his greedy ambitions, impatience, dictatorial tendencies, and countless chaotic blunders throughout his political career from 1982, Kenyans will NEVER elect a President Raila Amolo Odinga.
Well said, Pat Kenjuu. You really hit the nail on the head. Tell them.
Well Pat I will not bother typing out long sentences I will just tell you over 5 million voters and I hear in the grapevine its was in the region of 7million totally disagree with you period
Pat Kenjuu, preach it on!beautifully said. Raila is notorious in dismissing the outcome of institutions especially when the end result does not favor his side. At the moment he is expressing he has faith with the judiciary and lest we forget he is the same gentleman who sometimes back described the Kenyan judiciary system as "Koti bandia". Should the supreme court not rule in Rao's favor watch the cirucs that he is going to unfold.
How did raila come up with the idea of hiring Bushs lawyer? Ambassodor Odembo has the answer. why did,as Kenyas representative in the US not condemn Obamas referenceof Kenya to Syria? We know why. The rerun will be one of the most participated election since the Roman Empire. Kajwangs idea is great
Forget the actual results and challenge being taken to court; How was a candidate with pending criminal charges against him allowed to run for elections in first place???
FYI - Pat Kenju: Last time I checked, the US had a minority president... perhaps you should brush up on your current affairs (just a suggestion)