October 2017 Kenyan presidential election

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Turnout39.03% (Decrease40.48pp)
Uhuru Kenyatta.jpg
Raila Odinga 2009 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Uhuru Kenyatta Raila Odinga
Party Jubilee ODM
Alliance NASA
Running mate William Ruto Kalonzo Musyoka
Popular vote 7,483,895 73,228
Percentage 98.26% 0.96%

President before election

Uhuru Kenyatta

Elected President

Uhuru Kenyatta

Presidential elections were held in Kenya on 26 October 2017 following the Supreme Court's annulment of the results of the presidential vote in the August 2017 general elections.[2][3] The election was won by incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party, who won 98.3% of the popular vote to defeat Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).


Main article: Kenyan general election, 2017 § Supreme Court decision

General elections were held in Kenya on 8 August 2017. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential contest with 54.17% of the vote, whilst his main rival Raila Odinga finished second with 44.94% of the vote. The opposition claimed that it had won and that the government had rigged the elections. The opposition appealed to the Supreme Court. Citing a breach of the technical processes required by the constitution and the law, the court returned a verdict (by a margin of 4–2) that the election had not been "conducted in accordance with the constitution", cancelling the results and ordering fresh elections to be held within 60 days.[2] In a television address Kenyatta complained that the decision was tantamount to overturning the "will of the people". He nevertheless stated that though he disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision, he would obey that decision. Raila Odinga on the other hand welcomed the court's verdict, saying "This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa."[4]

Electoral system

The President of Kenya is elected using a modified version of the two-round system: to win in the first round, a candidate must receive over 50% of the vote nationally and 25% of the vote in at least 24 of Kenya's 47 counties.[5][6]


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In early October, Odinga announced that he was withdrawing[7][8][9][10] from the election.[11] Following his withdrawal from the presidential race, there was heated debate among lawyers as to the legality of IEBC continuing with the elections. Proponents of the elections argued that the court ruled a repeat election to be conducted within 60 days and this must happen no matter what the main opposition decides to do. Additionally, they argued that it was not possible to reform the IEBC as he was demanding due to constitutional limitations. Moreover, pulling out of the race required him to fill out a form 22a, which he refused to do, saying that it was an unnecessary formality. This means that he intentionally wanted to remain ambiguous and hence had not officially withdrawn. As such, his name would be in the ballot papers.

On the opposite end, opponents of the elections argued that the cancellation of one nominee means that there can no longer be an election as provided for in the Kenyan constitution following the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that such an event necessitated the cancellation of an election. Additionally, they argue that as this is not a fresh election but a repeat election, there is no need for any candidate to withdraw to do so by filling any form. This means that Raila's withdrawal through a letter was enough to prove that he is out of the race. Earlier, the Third Way Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot had appealed against the IEBC decision to exclude him from the vote citing a breach of the law. As it turned out, the court of appeal ruled that the IEBC decision to exclude the candidate had no basis in law since the October 26 election was a fresh election. The court also ruled that all presidential candidates in the October 26 election were free to contest as presidential candidates in October 26, 2017.

On 18 October, recently resigned IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe issued a statement declaring that the second presidential election wouldn't be a fair election.[12] Akombe also fled to the United States of America out of fear for her life.[13]

On 18 October, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati expressed skepticism about a fair election as well, claiming the IEBC commissioners were partisan-minded and that he would resign unless certain conditions are met to reform the IEBC.[14][15]

On 20 October, the IEBC's chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba announced that he will not be monitoring the election and that starting 23 October, he will take a three-week vacation.[16] Chiloba's departure has created more uncertainty over who will monitor the election.[17]

On 24 October, the IEBC announced that it would now count back-up paper ballots and not rush to announce the official results based only on numbers sent from the polling stations like in the first presidential election as well.[18] The same day, Chebukati appointed IEBC Vice Chair Consolata N.B. Maina as the IEBC Deputy National Returning Officer.[19]


On 30 October the IEBC declared Kenyatta the winner of the elections.[20]

CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Uhuru KenyattaWilliam RutoJubilee Party7,483,89598.26
Raila OdingaKalonzo MusyokaNational Super Alliance73,2280.96
Ekuru AukotEmmanuel NzaiThirdway Alliance Kenya21,3330.28
Abduba DidaTitus NgetunyAlliance for Real Change14,1070.19
Japheth KaluyuMuthiora KariaraIndependent8,2610.11
Michael WainainaMiriam MutuaIndependent6,0070.08
Joseph NyagahMoses MarangoIndependent5,5540.07
Cyrus JirongoJoseph MomanyiUnited Democratic Party3,8320.05
Valid votes7,616,21799.51
Invalid/blank votes37,7130.49
Total votes7,653,930100.00
Registered voters/turnout19,611,42339.03
Source: IEBC


Supreme Court decision

Two petitions were filed at Kenyan Supreme Court challenging the results of the 26 October 2017 election. The six judge bench unanimously decided that the petitions had no merit and upheld Uhuru Kenyatta's win for a second term.[21]


As per the constitutional timelines Kenyatta's second inauguration was conducted on 28 November 2017.[22]


  1. ^ Statistics per polling station IEBC
  2. ^ a b Kenya presidential election cancelled by Supreme Court BBC News, 1 September 2017
  3. ^ Kenyans go back to the ballot October 17 Daily Nation, 4 September 2017
  4. ^ Kenya Supreme Court nullifies presidential election, orders new vote CNN, 1 September 2017
  5. ^ Presidential Candidates Kenya Diaspora Vote
  6. ^ Article 138 (4) Constitution of Kenya 2010
  7. ^ BBC,10 Oct 2017 Kenya's Raila Odinga quits election re-run
  8. ^ Standard, 10 Oct 2017 Four possible scenarios after Raila Odinga withdraws from presidential race
  9. ^ Aljazeera, 10 Oct 2017 Kenya’s Raila Odinga ‘withdraws’ from election rerun
  10. ^ The Guardian, 10 Oct 2017 Kenya: Raila Odinga withdraws from election rerun
  11. ^ Kenya: Raila Odinga withdraws from election rerun The Guardian, 10 October 2017
  12. ^ "Breaking News, Kenya, Africa, Politics, Business, Sports - HOME". Nation. 2020-12-15. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  13. ^ "Kenyan election official flees to U.S. in fear for her life, saying new election will not be fair". Los Angeles Times. October 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Karanja, Samuel (October 18, 2017). "I will not go down as the Chairman who plunged the country into a deeper crisis-Wafula Chebukati". Tuko.co.ke - Kenya news.
  15. ^ Onyango, Protus. "Wafula Chebukati sets conditions for him to remain as IEBC chair". The Standard.
  16. ^ Duggan, Briana; Karimi, Faith (October 20, 2017). "Under pressure, Kenyan election official takes leave before new vote". CNN Digital.
  17. ^ Miriri, Duncan; Fick, Maggie (October 20, 2017). "Eyes on Odinga as Kenya election board CEO takes leave before vote". Reuters.
  18. ^ Ndiso, John (October 24, 2017). "Kenya officials change way of announcing election results". Reuters.
  19. ^ "News | Kenyans.co.ke". Archived from the original on 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  20. ^ Houreld, Katharine; Miriri, Duncan (October 30, 2017). "Kenyan President Kenyatta wins 98 percent of vote in repeat election". Reuters.
  21. ^ "Kenya's supreme court has upheld the reelction of president Uhuru Kenyatta" Quartz Africa, 20 November 2017
  22. ^ "President Uhuru Kenyatta sworn-in for second term in office" Standard Digital, 28 November 2017