#KenyaDecides: Electoral commission denies interferences in voting

A person casting his vote used to illustrate the story.
A person casting his vote used to illustrate the story.

Kenya Electoral Commission on Wednesday denied interferences in voting or the vote count in the general election, saying that the election management system was secure.

“We confirm there were no interferences before, during and after the polling exercise,” the commission said on Twitter.

Opposition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, had claimed that the electoral commission’s databank was hacked during Tuesday’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Mr. Odinga, who currently trails incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta by around 1.4 million votes, said that hackers had gained access to and manipulated the voting system.

“The 2017 election was a fraud. This attack on our democracy has affected our presidential election in all 47 counties,” Mr. Odinga said.

The 72-year-old veteran opposition politician did not disclose his source for the hacking allegation.

“You can only cheat the people for so long,” Mr. Odinga added.

Preliminary partial results given by the electoral commission had Kenyatta in the lead with 54.3 per cent after “valid” votes had been counted at 39,620 out of 40,883 polling stations.

Mr. Odinga had so far received 44.8 per cent.

Around 393,898 votes had been rejected, and some 5,000 were disputed, the commission reported.

Kenya’s opposition earlier said pre-marked ballots and bribery had been reported at some polling stations.

Concerns were rife that fraud allegations could unleash a wave of violence.

Eight candidates are in the running for president, but the election was a two-horse race between Messrs. Kenyatta and Odinga, both sons of late independence fighters: Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta and his deputy, Oginga Odinga.

If Mr. Kenyatta, 55, wins a second five-year term in a first or second election round, allegations of fraud could spark ethnically based violence in an echo of the 2007 elections, in which Odinga was defeated by Mwai Kibaki.

Kenyan police shot dead two people during violent clashes between security forces and a group of protesters in Nairobi’s Mathare district, rallying against the results of the recent general election after the opposition leader claimed they were fraud, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to the Kenya Today media outlet, the police claimed that the killed protesters were looting during the demonstrations.

While the elections were largely peaceful, according to police and the electoral commission, there were some protests on Wednesday, particularly in Nairobi and in the west of the country.

(Reuters/NAN)


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