Lessons from the Kenyan elections

The decision by the Kenyan Supreme Court to annul the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta brought back memories of the October 1998 decision by the British House of Lords that stripped the late Chilean President August Pinochet of his immunities and allowed for his arrest to answer for the over 3,000 tortures and deaths that his regime allegedly orchestrated during the 17 years of his dictatorial rule. Only two years later in 2000, the case was used as a precedent when a Senegalese judge indicted the exiled Chadian dictator Hissene Habre on charges of torture. Hopefully, the Kenyan elections case will help to quell the pervasiveness of elections manipulation by sending a stern message to the powers that be and those who administer election processes that they are not beyond the reach and sanction of domestic and possibly even international law. This case, which is the first on the African continent to overturn the results of a presidential election, is not completely novel to us but does contain a few lessons…..

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