09192019What's Hot:

President Uhuru Kenyatta Is Declared Victor of Kenyan Election

Protests in several opposition strongholds erupted shortly after Mr. Kenyatta’s victory was declared. Police officers equipped with riot gear moved into some areas of Nairobi, the capital, and Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city and Mr. Odinga’s birthplace, where tear gas was used and live bullets were fired at protesters, according to witnesses.

In 2007, a vote that was widely believed to have been flawed touched off bloodshed that left at least 1,300 people dead and 600,000 displaced. Voting systems in 2013 were afflicted by widespread malfunctions that led to renewed accusations of vote-rigging, and more than 300 people were killed in postelection violence. Mr. Odinga has said he was robbed of victory because of vote-rigging in those last two contests.

A senior opposition party official, James Orengo, described the election as “an entire charade.” The counting process, he said, was “a disaster.” Mr. Orengo also rejected calls from election observers to take any grievances to court. “Going to court for us is not an alternative,” he said. “We have been there before. It’s not an alternative.”


Supporters of Mr. Kenyatta cheered the election results in downtown Nairobi. Credit Ben Curtis/Associated Press

In 2013, Mr. Kenyatta won by a tiny margin, prompting Mr. Odinga to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate the election, a petition that was eventually unsuccessful.

On Thursday, Mr. Odinga’s running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, issued what seemed to be a call for supporters to go out into the streets when they were given a signal. “There may come a time when we need to call you into action,” Mr. Musyoka said.

Since Tuesday’s election, Mr. Odinga has claimed that election commission servers had been hacked to award Mr. Kenyatta a 10-point lead. Mr. Odinga, a former prime minister who was running for president for a fourth time, described the election as a “fraud.” Then, on Thursday, he said that he had won 8.04 million votes, to 7.75 million votes for Mr. Kenyatta.

Just days before the election, a senior official in charge of voting technology, Christopher Msando, was found dead, and there were signs he had been tortured. His death, which is being investigated with the help of the American and British authorities, raised questions about the integrity of the electoral process and created an atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust among voters.

Hackers, Mr. Odinga told reporters this week, had used Mr. Msando’s credentials to gain access to the servers and to alter results.

The chief executive of the electoral commission, Ezra Chiloba, stated that there had been no foul play in this week’s election. “There were no external or internal interferences with the system at any point before, during and after the voting,” he said.

Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the commission, said that hackers had tried but failed to break into the servers.

International observers have widely applauded the electoral commission’s conduct, noting that the results were based on paper documents that were verified at polling stations, not on the electronic transmission of the votes.

On Thursday, former Secretary of State John Kerry, an election observer for the Carter Center, urged Kenyan political candidates and parties to resolve any disputes in accordance with the law.

“We affirm the conviction that the judicial process, the judicial system of Kenya and the election laws themselves make full and adequate provision for accountability in this election,” Mr. Kerry said. “The streets do not.”

Source: NYT > World

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic