Presidential polls annulled around the world

Presidential polls annulled around the world
NASA supporters celebrate in Nairobi following annulment of President Kenyatta's re-election

The annulment by Kenya’s Supreme Court of last month’s presidential poll is a first in Africa, but has several precedents on other continents over the past two decades.

Austria: marathon election 

Green-backed Alexander Van der Bellen, who ran as an independent, was declared president on December 4, 2016 after the longest and most turbulent presidential campaign in post-war Austria.

On May 22, 2016 Van der Bellen won a runoff by just 30,863 votes against the FPOe’s Norbert Hofer, who had set his sights on becoming the European Union’s first far-right president.

But the FPOe got the result annulled by the Constitutional Court in July due to alleged procedural irregularities in numerous constituencies.

A re-run pencilled in for October had to be postponed because of faulty glue on postal votes.

Van der Bellen was finally elected in December by a margin 10 times larger than in May.

Haiti: power vacuum 

The orginal election of Jovenel Moise on October 25, 2015, was annulled in court the following June amid charges of massive fraud, creating a power vacuum in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Moise prevailed again in a rescheduled first round election on November 20, 2016, at which turnout was a dismal 21 percent.

Maldives: high tensions

The Maldives Supreme Court in October 2013 annulled the results of presidential elections, amid high tensions on the troubled Indian Ocean atoll nation known for luxury tourism.

The court annulled the first round of voting on September 7 over irregularities in the electoral roll. The vote was won by former leader Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, who had been ousted one and a half years earlier.

Nasheed went on to win the reorganised first round on November 9, but was beaten in the second round by Abdulla Yameen, the half-brother of former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled with an iron grip for 30 years.

Ukraine: Orange Revolution

On November 21, 2004, pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych won the former Soviet republic’s presidential election but the result was annulled in December after claims of rigging triggered the “Orange Revolution”.

His bitter rival, opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, was poisoned by dioxin during the campaign, but went on to win a new second round on December 26.

The presidency of the pro-western leader, marked by political turbulence and economic crisis, largely disappointed Ukrainians who in 2010 voted in Yanukovych again.

Serbia: low turnout 

From October 2002 to November 2003, three presidential elections were ruled invalid in Serbia as the turnout rate was less than the 50 percent required under the electoral law.

This provision of the law has since been scrapped and in June 2004 reformist and pro-European Boris Tadic won Serbia’s presidential election against ultra-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic.

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Story By AFP
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