Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified the result of the August 8 presidential election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a ruling issued on Friday, the court said the electoral board committed “irregularities and illegalities” during last month’s vote, harming the integrity of the election.
The court ordered another presidential election to be held within 60 days.
“The declaration [of Kenyatta’s win] is invalid, null and void,” said Judge David Maraga, announcing the verdict of four out of the six judges.
The shock ruling was a rare example of a poll result being overturned, with Maraga saying the election commission “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution”.
The protest was brought before the Supreme Court by opposition leader Raila Odinga, who lost to Kenyatta.
Kenyatta was announced the winner with 54 percent of the vote – but Odinga claimed the election was rigged with electronic voting results hacked into and manipulated in favour of Kenyatta.
Odinga supporters erupted in jubilation after the decision was announced.
“This is an unprecedented ruling,” Odinga said outside the court. “This is a triumph for the people of Kenya.”
Odinga’s lawyer had asked the court to invalidate Kenyatta’s win, saying a scrutiny of the forms used to tally the votes had anomalies that affected nearly five million votes.
Al Jazeera’s Mohamad Adow, reporting from Nairobi, said the ruling was “historic, unprecedented anywhere in Africa”.
“What has happened here today is huge on any scale,” he said.