Saturday 20 January 2018

Kenyan candidate says vote 'being doctored'

Mike Pflanz Nairobi

Results from Kenya's election are "being doctored" and votes should be recounted from scratch, the running mate of the presidential candidate Raila Odinga said.

It was the first open allegation that Monday's polls were being rigged in a way that mirrored the failures of the last vote in 2007, which provoked weeks of violence in which 1,100 people died.

The comments drew sharp criticism from observers and diplomats, and raised tensions in areas loyal to both Mr Odinga and his rival, Uhuru Kenyatta, pictured, who was ahead by 9pc yesterday with close to half the votes counted.

Employers allowed workers to go home early and late-night shops closed soon after 6pm as Nairobi's city centre emptied quicker than usual.

"We have evidence that results we are receiving are actually being doctored," said Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Odinga's deputy presidential candidate. "In some cases, total votes cast exceeds the number of registered voters. The national vote-tallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped and restarted."

This was "not a call to mass action". He said his Coalition on Reform and Democracy "upheld the rule of law".

Many Kenyans are increasingly frustrated – and suspicious – at the delayed outcome. The last election was widely believed to have been rigged.

"This just looks exactly like a rerun of 2007," said Maina Kiai, a human rights activist.

"Kenyans queue up to vote peacefully, then there's this long wait for the results and now that's opening up the perception of rigging."

Kenya's electoral commission dismissed Mr Odinga's claims and again appealed for voters' patience. It promised results today. "There is no room for doctoring the results whatsoever," said Issack Hassan, the commission's chairman.

There were no examples of constituencies where the number of ballots cast had been found to be greater than registered voters, he added.

International Criminal Court prosecutors accuse Mr Kenyatta, the son of independent Kenya's first president, of mobilising armed militia to carry out the violence that followed the last polls. He denies the charges. His case was due to start on April 11, but yesterday it was put back to July 9. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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