The official results showed Ruto secured 50.1% support and Odinga 48.8%, a development that left the East African nation in political limbo, until Monday’s ruling.
But the court dismissed the nine allegations by the petitioner and took time to explain the reasons for its decision.
With the court’s ruling upholding Ruto’s win, the president elect is expected to be swon in on Sept 13.
The Man William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto
Although the current electoral process has been largely peaceful, investors are watching closely for any potential unrest.
Koome, appointed in May 2021 by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, has a reputation for integrity.
Months after her appointment, she quashed broad constitutional reforms backed by both Odinga and Kenyatta, which were widely seen as an attempt to sideline Ruto.
Kenyatta fell out with Ruto after the 2017 elections and formed an alliance with Odinga.
Koome’s ruling prompted praise even from critics like Ahmednasir Abdullahi, a lawyer who has frequently questioned Koome’s independence and who supports Ruto.
“On the whole, good judgment by the Supreme Court,” he tweeted, praising Koome and a second judge for being”outstanding in their reasoning”.
In 2017, the Supreme Court became the first African court to scrap the re-election victory of a sitting president, after it annulled on procedural grounds results giving Kenyatta a second term. Kenyatta won the rerun after Odinga boycotted it.
Four of those judges remain on the Court. The chief justice retired and Koome replaced him.
Koome – who has 34 years of legal experience – cut her teeth representing political detainees like Odinga when he protested against state repression in the 1980s and 90s.
“Many years ago … courts seemed to be controlled by the government. But today’s courts have come out to be more independent,” said carpenter Meshack Nyamema.
Koome, 62, is already a trailblazer: her appointment made her the first female head of any Kenyan branch of government. She often discusses her Christianity and liberal social views.
One of 18 children from a polygamous family of subsistence farmers, Koome co-founded and chaired the Federation of Women Lawyers.
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In another departure from orthodoxy, in 2019 she supported a ruling that it was not illegal to identify as gay. Gay sex is punishable by 14 years in jail.This May, Koome used a national prayer breakfast to warn against settling election disputes on the streets.”I pray for those who might be tempted to divide our nation for their selfish reasons,” she said. “This country belongs to everyone, and not just politicians.