Kenya’s Ruto suspends officials who disputed August poll victory

President William Ruto also formed a panel to investigate whether the four election commissioners should be impeached.

The Kenyan president has suspended four election commissioners who disputed his victory in August’s polls and has formed a panel to examine whether they should be impeached, the presidency said.

William Ruto’s move on Friday came after the national assembly asked the president to form a tribunal against commissioners Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi.

The quartet had questioned Ruto’s election victory for defying math and logic, saying at the time that they could not support the “opaque” vote count.

Ruto received 50.49 percent of the votes cast on August 9, narrowly beating his rival Raila Odinga with 48.85 percent.

Friday’s move has opened a new battle front between the government and the opposition, and Odinga has dismissed it as a plan by Ruto to rig the next election in 2027.

“The events in parliament yesterday surrounding the formula of appointing IEBC (the election commission of Kenya) and chasing the four commissioners have nothing to do with integrity, but with 2027. Ruto wants to manipulate the 2027 elections in 2022. We must not allow this. happen,” Odinga said on Friday.

President Ruto has also formed a tribunal chaired by Supreme Court Justice Aggrey Muchelule to investigate the commissioners and report any violations of the constitution or “gross misconduct” they may have committed.

Days after the election, the four commissioners had held a parallel press conference to say they could not be a party to the results announced on live television by the chairman and two other commissioners.

The dispute went to the Supreme Court, which upheld Ruto’s election and rejected the four’s arguments that the counting process was opaque.

The court ruled that a “break in the boardroom” between the commissioners had undermined public confidence, but it was not enough to invalidate the election.

However, it called for reforms in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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