Following the Supreme Court ruling on Friday that annulled President Uhuru’s win, The New York Times has written another editorial praising the move.
In a piece titled, “Kenya’s Giant Step for Fair Elections,” the world renowned newspaper termed the decision to nullify Uhuru’s win as ‘courageous’, and a critical first for Kenya and Africa.
They also ate their words on an earlier editorial that described Raila Odinga in quite unflattering words. On August 13th, NYT wrote, ”
Kenya’s national elections last Tuesday were closely watched around the world, less for the results than for the threat of violence that has marred past elections. Barack Obama, whose father was a Kenyan, had been among those urging the country’s leaders to “reject violence and incitement.”
That has not happened. Raila Odinga, a perennial loser, began crying foul long before the election commission declared that President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected with 54 percent of the vote to Mr. Odinga’s 45. Mr. Odinga’s unsubstantiated claims have already touched off rioting in parts of the country, and the violence could spread.”
They admitted this in their new editorial, terming the ruling as a rebuke to themselves and the international observers and diplomats who gave the election a thumbs up.
“The ruling was also a rebuke to international monitors and diplomats — and to this page — who were too quick to dismiss charges of irregularities, largely out of relief that the Aug. 8 voting had been mainly peaceful and in the hope that disappointment with the results would not lead to the sort of violence that erupted after the disputed 2007 election, in which hundreds of people were killed. “
“The fears were real, but the rush to judgment overlooked, among other things, that the supervisor of a new electronic voting system, Christopher Chege Msando, had been murdered and apparently tortured days before the election.
The six-judge Supreme Court, acting on a petition from the challenger, Raila Odinga, ruled that the breakdown of the system in which ballots were to be transferred to a publicly accessible online site rendered the results of the presidential election “invalid, null and void” and ordered another election within 60 days. The court said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which was in charge of the vote, committed “irregularities and illegalities” in the transmission of results and on other issues. The elections to fill another 1,880 posts were left in force.”
In conclusion, the paper writes, “The Kenyan Supreme Court has done a major service to democracy and the rule of law, and has provided a needed lesson to international observers.”
Read the new editorial in full Here.