Uhuru Kenyatta has fairly won the country’s presidential election, Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled today rejecting several petitions challenging the vote.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced the decision, saying the poll was free and fair.
The appeal was lodged by PM Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta’s main rival in the presidential poll this month.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential election victory
Official results said Uhuru Kenyatta beat Raila Odinga by 50.07% to 43.28%, avoiding a run-off by just 8,100 votes.
There is tight security at the Supreme Court. Violence after a disputed election in 2007 left more than 1,200 people dead.
The presidential, legislative and municipal elections held on March 4 were the first since the 2007 poll.
Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, are facing trial on charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly fuelling unrest after that election. They deny the charges.
There was tight security for the court decision, with all roads leading to the building closed.
Police chief David Kimaiyo warned on Friday that unrest would not be tolerated.
He said: “We have reports indicating that some parties have organized their supporters to converge outside the Supreme Court during delivery of the ruling, and we will not allow any such gatherings.
“There will be tight security in all parts of the country, we will not tolerate any form of violence.”
Outgoing President Mwai Kibaki has urged people to stay calm and accept the result, but much will depend on Kenyans’ faith in their newly reformed judiciary.
Lawyers for Raila Odinga said their petition to the Supreme Court included allegations of vote manipulation, as well as problems with the registration of voters and an electronic vote counting mechanism.
On Friday, the Supreme Court reviewed recounts from 22 polling stations. Both sides claimed that the recounts vindicated their position.
Uhuru Kenyatta has called the election, which was largely conducted peacefully, a “triumph of democracy”.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has insisted that the vote was credible, despite technical failures with an electronic voter ID system and the vote counting mechanism.
International observers said the poll was largely free, fair and credible, and that the electoral commission had conducted its business in an open and transparent manner.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has vowed to cast a blank vote in Sunday’s French presidential poll run-off.
Marine Le Pen told a rally of her National Front party that she could back neither incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy nor Socialist Francois Hollande and told supporters to follow their conscience.
Marine Le Pen won 6.5 million votes – 17.9% – in the first round of the election.
The latest opinion polls suggest Francois Hollande has a six to 10 point lead over President Sarkozy.
Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy will go head-to-head in the sole televised election debate on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Marine Le Pen led her National Front party’s annual rally to its climax at the Place de l’Opera in the French capital.
Marine Le Pen was addressing supporters after winning a record number of votes for her party in the first round of the presidential election and after taking over from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, just over a year ago.
“On Sunday, I will vote blank,” she told the rally.
“I have made my choice. Each of you will make yours.”
Marine Le Pen told a rally of her National Front party that she could back neither incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy nor Socialist Francois Hollande and told supporters to follow their conscience
Marine Le Pen praised the campaign her party had run, saying it had touched the spirit of the French people.
“We have become the centre of gravity for French politics,” she said.
Marine Le Pen said a “great project of emancipation” had begun and nothing would be the same again.
She rounded on both Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.
Marine Le Pen said Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent policy switches had contradicted his actions over his five-year term and he was not fit to be president.
Opinion polls suggest about 50% of National Front voters will back the president, about 30% will abstain and about 15% will support Francois Hollande.
Nicolas Sarkozy is holding a large rally on Tuesday in Trocadero Square, Paris, which he says is a showcase of “real work”.
This has irritated unions as it carries the implication that Left-wing unions – who are holding their own May Day rally – do not understand the value of work.
Meanwhile, Francois Hollande told supporters in the central town of Nevers: “French people want change.”
He added that now he was no longer the candidate of the Socialist Party but the candidate of “the whole united Left”.
After the first round on 22 April, far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon – who polled 11% of the vote – told his supporters to rally behind Francois Hollande in the second round.
Francois Hollande has chosen not to attend the unions’ rally at the Bastille, which will be addressed by Socialist Party secretary Martine Aubry.
Large numbers of workers and union members are marking May Day with marches and rallies across the country.
Nicolas Sarkozy continued to court far-right voters on Tuesday in an interview on the RMC radio station, saying France had too many immigrants.
He said: “Our system of integration doesn’t work. Why? Because before we were able to integrate those who were received on our territory, others arrived. Having taken in too many people, we paralyzed our system of integration.”
Ten candidates from the Egyptian presidential poll, including former spy chief Omar Suleiman and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater, have been barred by election officials.
Ultra orthodox Salafi Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail has also been banned.
No reason was given by officials, who said the banned candidates had 48 hours to appeal. Thirteen candidates remain.
Elections are due to be held in May, more than a year after Hosni Mubarak was overthrown by popular protests.
The decision by Omar Suleiman to stand for the presidency sparked major protests in Cairo on Friday
Egypt is still governed by a military council, although parliamentary elections have taken place in the meantime. The Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) became the largest party in parliament.
The decision by Omar Suleiman to stand for the presidency sparked major protests in Cairo on Friday.
The news that he and nine other candidates were being excluded was announced by Farouk Sultan, the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission. Officials said the 10 did not meet the conditions for candidacy, but no further explanation was given.