Kenya court grants access to poll returns in case seeking to void election

Kenya’s national election board must give access to election returns to parties challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last month’s presidential election, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The court said the election board must grant access immediately to the original vote tally forms and a copy of the voter register to the petitioners, a former lawmaker and two human rights activists.

Chief Justice David Maraga told the petitioners they must file a report on their findings from the returns by Thursday afternoon.

Lawyers for Kenyatta and the election board had opposed the application for access to the returns, arguing it was a waste of time.

The unanimous ruling, on the second day of the court’s review of the petitions, comes after it rejected the participation of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s NASA coalition in the petitions [nL8N1NK2Y5].

The court has until Nov. 20 to rule on the two petitions, the latest chapter in a protracted political crisis that has stirred fears for the stability of the east African nation, a regional hub for trade, diplomacy and security.

If the election result is upheld, Kenyatta will be sworn in on Nov. 28.

Reporting by Humphrey Malalo and John Ndiso; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Larry King

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