Friday 20 September 2019

Uhuru Kenyatta named winner of troubled Kenyan presidential vote

Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation after he was announced the winner in the rerun of the presidential election (AP)
Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation after he was announced the winner in the rerun of the presidential election (AP)
Kenyan police search the Kawangware area of Nairobi (AP)

Uhuru Kenyatta won last week's rerun presidential election in Kenya, which was boycotted by the main opposition group, the election commission has said .

Wafula Chebukati, the election commission chief, said on Monday that President Kenyatta got 7.5 million votes, or 98% of the ballots cast.

The huge margin was expected because he faced no significant challenge after opposition leader Raila Odinga refused to participate, saying the election was a sham.

Mr Kenyatta was also declared the winner of a presidential vote in August, but that election was later nullified by the Supreme Court.

The announcement went ahead even though voting did not occur in two dozen out of Kenya's 290 constituencies because of opposition protests, said Consolata Nkatha, a senior election official.

The commission cited an election law that says final results can be announced if the tally will not be affected by the outcome in areas that have yet to vote, though Mr Odinga has described Thursday's election as a sham and called for another vote within 90 days.

His boycott meant Mr Kenyatta ran without a significant challenge after a bitterly contested election in August that was later nullified because of "irregularities and illegalities".

Opposition backers have clashed with police in some parts of Kenya since last week, and security forces on Monday used tear gas to disperse young men who threw stones after a government official visited a school in a Nairobi slum.

The confrontation occurred in the capital's Kawangware area, a frequent scene of unrest linked to last week's presidential election.

Some students in uniform were seen running in an effort to escape the violence, and police carried at least one student to safety.

Amnesty International has criticised Kenyan police for using "unlawful force" against opposition supporters and bystanders after last week's rerun election.

The human rights group cited cases of "police brutality" as well as violence and intimidation by backers of both Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta.

Amnesty referred to violence in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi as well as Kisumu, the country's third-largest city which is an opposition stronghold.

Government officials said opposition leaders incited violence with incendiary rhetoric and police have been attacked by mobs.

At least nine people have died in violence since the election on Thursday. Some were shot by police, and several died in fighting between ethnic groups.


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