Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled that William Ruto was properly elected president, dismissing several petitions seeking to annul the result of the 9 August election.
His rival, Raila Odinga, and others had alleged that massive fraud, including tampering with results forms, had taken place.
Mr Ruto garnered 50.5% of the vote in the closely fought election.
The 55-year-old will be sworn in as the country’s fifth president next week.
The eight petitions challenging the elections were all dismissed. The court found some were based on forged documents and “sensational information”, Chief Justice Martha Koome said in a unanimous decision on behalf of the seven judges.
No credible evidence that the electronic voting transmission system had been tampered with by “a middle man” was presented, she said.
Ms Koome also said that Mr Ruto had met the constitutional threshold of garnering 50%+1 of votes cast.
The ruling ends a protracted election dispute that started after polls closed last month.
Mr Odinga’s team had used the dissent of four of the seven electoral commissioners – who disowned the poll results because they had fallen out with the chairman – to bolster his case.
But the court, while noting the “dysfunction” of the commission in managing its internal affairs, said it was not convinced that the claims of the chairman running a one-man show was enough to undermine the election.
“Are we to nullify the outcome of an election on the basis of a last-minute boardroom rupture whose details remain scanty?” the judges asked.
The ruling prompted celebrations in Mr Ruto’s home area of the Rift Valley and parts of the Central region where his running mate hails from.
Members of the legal team of William Ruto – who has been confirmed as the president-elect – have been giving their own press conference outside the Supreme Court.
Veronica Maina who is the secretary general of Mr Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance said: “We are very excited – we thank all the Kenyans who participated in the electoral process. The court has done its part and now it’s time for the president-elect to take up the reins.”
She also tweeted after the court ruling:
One of the lawyers acting for Raila Odinga – James Orengo – is giving a press conference outside the Supreme Court.
Talking about the judgement he says: “The rule of law should prevail – the court normally has the last word in the law of the land, but as citizens we are entitled to disagree and disagree very vehemently.”