Kenya’s supreme court on Monday upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in a contentious repeat vote that was boycotted by the opposition.
In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed challenges by human rights activists and a politician who argued that last month’s election was not conducted according to the law.
“There is no perfect election; there will always be errors in elections, but you cannot invalidate an election unless those errors affect the outcome,” said the country’s attorney general, Githu Muigai.
Protests began in response to the court’s decision, while live television footage showed Kenyatta supporters bursting into song.
The court had in September nullified the August presidential election over irregularities and ordered a new vote which was held las month.
It is the first time a court in Africa has overturned a presidential election.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose legal challenge led to the nullification, had then boycotted the repeat election and rejected Kenyatta’s overwhelming win.
In some opposition strongholds, the repeat vote could not be carried out amid unrest.
Odinga called Monday’s court decision no surprise.
“We … had repeatedly declared before this Supreme Court ruling today that we consider this government to be illegitimate and do not recognize it. This position has not been changed by the court ruling,” he said.
The opposition leader said the court’s decision was “taken under duress. We do not condemn the court, we sympathize with it.”
Odinga is asking for international intervention as violent protests continue.