Kenyan Supreme Court orders presidential vote scrutiny

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-29 01:33:10|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Supreme Court on Monday allowed opposition leader Raila Odinga access to the computer servers of the country's elections body and sought a report on tests to determine whether there was external interference with the transmission of the Aug. 8 presidential election results.

Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which is defending its conduct of the presidential elections, was asked on Monday, to allow Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta's representatives to access its servers and avail all technology kits for scrutiny of the courts.

The ruling came after Odinga stated in court that information recorded from individual polling centers differed from the election results used to arrive at Kenyatta's presidential victory.

Odinga challenged the election outcome at the court, stating there was external hacking of the IEBC servers, which affected the transmission of the presidential election results.

The court has called for a report on the number of servers, the computer operating systems, the passwords policy and the levels of access granted to the users into the IEBC system.

President Kenyatta and Odinga's teams are each expected to send two experts to the verification exercise.

Justice Isaac Lenaola said the Supreme Court decision was based on three main things that Kenya's electoral system is partly electronic and partly manual, the integrity of the system including passwords must be protected and the manufacturers of the electoral systems are in France, hence orders cannot be granted to summon them due to time constraints.

Justice Lenaola then directed the IEBC to provide the opposition with information, including the number of servers used during the general election, access to all procured electoral kit (used or unused), firewalls without disclosure of software, operating system and, software and password policy.

Odinga will also access to the original forms with presidential election results from some 40,833 poll centers and the 290 constituencies to determine their authenticity.

The judge said an ICT officer appointed by the Supreme Court and Judiciary's ICT officer shall supervise, access the technology used and prepare a report together with two agents each from the parties in court.

According to the court, it seems Odinga will have a very restricted and specific access to the servers even though they had asked for unfettered access.

The court expects to be provided a report prepared by information technology specialists based on the findings of the systems penetration tests before close of hearings on Tuesday.

The report will assist court in settling hacking claims, alleged existence of non-gazetted polling stations, presence of original forms, alleged differences of results as announced at the polling station and those captured on forms.

Odinga's lawyers told Court a statistical formula was used to rig the elections in favor of Kenyatta.

The lawyers told the court that the difference in votes between Kenyatta and Odinga could not have remained so consistent on the portal were the data coming in randomly from the various polling stations across the country.

They also submitted that there is no way the results could have started streaming in as early as 5.07 p.m. when the official polling station closing time was 5 p.m..

Otiende Amolo, the lawyer appearing for Odinga, said the results of the elections were declared before some 10,480 presidential election declaration forms were obtained by the IEBC.

The lawyers for the opposition leader also told court there were results from polling centers not officially recognized for the purpose of receiving the election results.

According to Amollo, discrepancies which the Commission had evidently attempted to remedy in a tampering exercise.

"As of Aug. 14, three days after the winner was declared, the Commission was still missing 10,000 form 34As. Given every polling station had no more than 700 voters, we're talking seven million votes," Amollo said.

The returns for 14 constituencies, he also submitted, were not made by gazetted officers and therefore invalid, affecting 594,476 votes.