Odinga says poll rigged as Kenyatta wins

Saturday, 12 Aug, 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta was named the victor of Kenya's general election, the country's electoral commission (IEBC) announced on Friday.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has been re-elected following Tuesday's vote, the national electoral commission has announced.

The U.S. ambassador to Kenya says the work of election officials should be not be disrupted as they tally final results in the country's disputed presidential election.

Odinga supporters interviewed by the Guardian in recent days said their leader had been robbed of victory in the last two polls, but that they would not take to the streets if they believed they had been fairly defeated this time.

They have claimed that voting machines were hacked and fake ballots cast in a process some opposition figures have condemned as a "charade".

Having first ascended to the helm in 2013, president-elect Kenyatta is now set for a second term in power.

"We are all citizens of one republic", Kenyatta said on national television after what was a bruising and bitter campaign.

He praised the Kenyan people's history of standing up to stolen elections and said there were "constitutional alternatives" to challenging any result, but he stopped short of calling for protests.

In Mathare, another capital district where Odinga has many supporters, police used tear gas and fired shots into the air to break up protests, area resident Don told EFE. "It looks like the president (and) the deputy president knew all along what the commission was going to do", coalition agent James Orengo said.

Zaphania Onyango holds up a bullet shell he says was fired by security forces
Zaphania Onyango holds up a bullet shell he says was fired by security forces

Global election observers have said they saw no signs of interference with the vote. "And then if they have a concern, go through the rule of law, go to the court process and let the evidence be there for everybody to see".

As Kenyatta held a strong lead in provisional results with 96 percent of all polling stations counted, the election commission defended the voting system as secure, saying there were "no interferences before, during and after" Tuesday's election.

In recent days, opposition officials have described the election results as a fraud and claimed that Raila Odinga, the 72-year-old Nasa leader, was the legitimate victor.

Former President John Mahama has confessed it is not easy to lose an election, but has urged Kenyans to protect the peace ahead of the declaration of the official results.

Many parts of Kenya, East Africa's commercial hub, remained calm, but the violence stirred memories of the unrest that followed the 2007 vote in which more than 1,000 people were killed.

The election commission said there was a hacking attempt but it failed, and that Odinga's camp had no right to declare him as the victor.

In 2013, Odinga lost to Kenyatta and claimed the results were manipulated but Kenya's Supreme Court announced Kenyatta the victor. Analysts expected faceoffs between protesters and police in places like Kibera, but said the violence would not likely consume entire cities and towns as it did a decade ago.

In the lead-up to the announcement of the final result, IEBC's results portal, open to the public, showed Kenyatta well in the lead by more than one million votes.