Kenya elections: President Uhuru Kenyatta wins second term

Aug 12, 2017, 00:26
Kenya elections: President Uhuru Kenyatta wins second term

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday was officially declared the victor of a bitterly disputed election in Kenya, but his opponent, Raila Odinga, refused to concede defeat, slamming the vote as a "charade" and edging the country closer to violence.

But Kenyan election officials say only they have the authority to declare the victor, and worldwide election observers say they have seen no signs of interfering with the vote.

Global observers have praised the handling of the election, with the European Union saying it had seen no sign of manipulation despite opposition complaints and scattered protests.

Following Mr. Odinga's claims, there were minor skirmishes in a Nairobi suburb and in Mombasa but residents in those areas said that criminals wanted to use the opportunity to loot while others wanted to settle scores. "I therefore wish to declare Uhuru Kenyatta.as president elect", said polls commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, as cheers and singing broke out at the national tallying centre.

More than 1,000 people were killed in a campaign of ethnic violence in the months after Odinga, defeated by then-President Mwai Kibaki, claimed the vote was rigged.

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.

He encouraged political leaders in Kenya "to rise to the occasion" and spurred the leadership of that country to ensure Kenya does not "burn because of an election".

Kenyan-based diplomats called for patience, and said any complaints must be channeled through the courts, not street protests.

Mahama commends Kenyans for peaceful election
Kenya elections: President Uhuru Kenyatta wins second term

"We appeal for peace, non-violence and dialogue as the eyes of the world is on Kenya and we can't do better than to show that electorally, Kenya has come of age".

On Thursday, however, the country remained calm for the most part, despite reports of clashes in the Nairobi slum of Kawangware and in Garissa county.

"If they can open those servers, and we all look at it, we are prepared to accept the results of what is contained in those servers", James Orengo, chief election agent for the National Super Alliance opposition coalition, told reporters. He added though, that the opposition doesn't plan on contesting the vote in court.

Losing an election can be "very frustrating" because it prevents one from achieving a set goal, former president John Dramani Mahama has said. The Kenyan election commission has disputed his claims that its database was hacked and results were manipulated in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who seeks a second term.

Hundreds of police in anti-riot gear are patrolling the capital, Nairobi.

The two main protagonists for the presidency are the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Raila Odinga, who has already challenged the result, which puts Mr. Kenyatta in the lead.

Many Kenyans have left Nairobi in recent days, bracing for violence.

On Wednesday, at least three people were shot and killed in in violent confrontations across the country.

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