Financial markets gain Sh10bn ahead of poll case verdict – Business Daily
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on the trading floor at the Exchange building in Nairobi on August 26, 2020. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
Investors remained cagey ahead of the Supreme Court verdict Monday, with foreigners appearing to have put on hold their activities on the financial markets.
Key economic indicators closed Friday — the last day of the hearing of the petition challenging the declaration of William Ruto as the winner of the August 9 presidential election at the apex court — with mixed signals.
The stock market gained Sh10 billion while the shilling continued on its downward spiral to end the week at an exchange of 120.1 units against the dollar.
Some investors appeared to be waiting on the Supreme Court decision today to make decisions on when they would reopen their purse strings as Kenya goes through another disputed presidential election.
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The chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Wafula Chebukati, declared Dr Ruto the winner after polling 7.1 million votes against Raila Odinga’s 6.9 million votes.
Mr Odinga challenged the outcome claiming that the election was rigged in favour of his main competitor.
The announcement that he will challenge the outcome saw the NSE shed Sh43 billion on August 22 to close trading at Sh2.23 trillion, which was the lowest since Kenyans went to the polls on August 9.
The NSE shed Sh150.9 billion from August 15, when the IEBC chairperson made the declaration and Friday when the court concluded the hearing.
Yields to Eurobond also increased last week. The 10-year Eurobond whose maturity is 2024 increased by 0.6 percent to 15.2 percent.
Among the grounds for Mr Odinga seeking the nullification of the election is that the IEBC postponed gubernatorial elections in Mombasa and Kakamega and four constituencies to suppress his votes, a claim dismissed by the electoral body.
If the seven judges of the court are convinced that there are sufficient grounds to support claims of rigging, the court will call for a fresh election within 60 days.
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Funding a repeat presidential election will set taxpayers another Sh10 billion.
The seven judges can also dismiss the petition and uphold Dr Ruto’s win and their decision can be unanimous or by majority vote.
In 2017, the court led by former Chief Justice David Maraga overturned President Kenyatta’s win in a majority of four against two.
The nullification of the presidential election will send the country into an election mode and anxiety as to who will conduct the repeat poll after Mr Odinga argued for the indictment of Mr Chebukati by the Supreme Court.
If the apex court upholds Dr Ruto’s win, the President-elect will be sworn into office as the country’s fifth President seven days after the Supreme Court renders its decision.
The judges framed nine issues for determination among them whether the technology deployed by the electoral commission met the standards of integrity, verifiability, security and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results.
Mr Odinga and 11 other petitioners alleged that the technology was infiltrated and that it is the ‘machines that voted and not Kenyans’.
“In this case, we have demonstrated that the technology deployed in the election, even this Supreme Court cannot access it,” Mr Willis Otieno, who represented activist Khelef Khalifa, said, claiming that the IEBC refused to grant the court access after an order.
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The court will also determine whether there was interference with the uploading and transmission of Forms 34A from the polling stations to the IEBC portal and whether there was a difference between Forms 34A uploaded on the portal and the forms that were presented at the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya.
The IEBC maintained that a scrutiny ordered by the court in 15 polling stations confirmed that the results declared at the polling stations tally with the ones transmitted to its portal, hence claims of deletion and uploading of fresh Forms 34A are false.
President Kenyatta is also expected to summon the first sitting of the 13th Parliament before September 9. The first task of the 349 MPs and 67 senators is to elect speakers of the two houses.
A speaker must be supported by two-thirds or 233 of the 349 MPs in the National Assembly and 45 of the 67 senators.