Kenya’s veteran opposition leader, Raila Odinga, filed a petition to the country’s top court on Monday challenging the result of the August 9 election that handed victory to his rival, William Ruto.
In the petition, Odinga asks the court to nullify the vote’s outcome on several grounds, including a mismatch between the turnout figures and the result, and failure by the commission to tally ballots from 27 constituencies as required by law.
“The final result… was therefore not complete, accurate, verifiable or accountable and cannot be the basis for a valid and legitimate declaration,” the petition said.
Odinga, a veteran opposition leader who ran with the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ruling party, rejected the outcome of the poll, branding it a “travesty.”
He narrowly lost to Ruto by around 230,000 votes, less than two percentage points.
The 77-year-old politician filed a physical copy of the petition with barely an hour to go before the court’s 2 pm (1100 GMT) deadline for accepting the case.
An online copy was filed earlier in the day, according to a member of his legal team.
Last week the election commissioner declared Deputy President William Ruto had won the election by a slim margin, but four out of seven election commissioners dissented, saying the tallying of results had not been transparent.
In 2017, the Supreme Court overturned the election result and ordered a re-run, which Odinga boycotted, saying he had no faith in the election commission.
The case will be heard by the seven-member Supreme Court and presided over by Martha Koome, Kenya’s first female chief justice, who was appointed by Kenyatta last year.
The court will next conduct a status conference with all parties to define the hearing schedule and ground rules. The constitution requires judges to issue their decision within 14 days of the lawsuit being filed.
Due to the tight schedule, it normally issues a summary judgment within 14 days, followed by more thorough decisions from each of the seven judges at a later date.