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Pomona College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Kenya: Islam and Swahili Cultural Identity


This article presents the findings from an exploration of the 2013 Kenya Supreme Court ruling on the election petition. Raila Odinga, who averred that Uhuru Kenyatta was wrongly declared the victor of the election, brought a challenge to the Supreme Court. This article presents an overview of the election and judicial proceedings and then delves deeper into the issues. An application of Judicial Politics theory to the decision suggests that the Supreme Court was unbiased in the process. It is found that Uhuru Kenyatta supporters generally view the Supreme Court and the decision favorably and believe that no credible evidence of fraud exists, while Raila Odinga supporters generally did not view the Supreme Court or its decision favorably and believe that the evidence clearly shows that the election was rigged. The evidence suggests that the decision affected the institutional legitimacy of the Court, but not in a debilitating manner.


African Studies | Law and Politics | Other Legal Studies | Other Political Science | Political Science


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