The decision of the Kenyan Supreme Court to annul the result of the country’s presidential elections that took place on 8 August was widely celebrated as a tangible sign that the Kenyan democratic system was functioning. At the same time, the annulment of the vote also triggered a political and constitutional crisis, the outcome of which, a month away from the return to the ballot box at the end of October, remains wholly uncertain.

Kenya’s sitting president, Uhuru Kenyatta, had initially been declared the winner of the presidential contest. While accepting the Supreme Court’s ruling that there were too many problems with the balloting process, Kenyatta defined the decision as “a coup d’etat by four people sitting in a courtroom … who decided on their own that they can choose a leader for the majority of Kenyans”. His words provoked a response from the president of the Court, David Maraga who, together with the judiciary, claimed that he was ready to “pay with my life the duty of safeguarding the constitution and the rule of law”.

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