Uhuru-Spirit News


August 11, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice-president William Ruto with the certificate attesting to their victory after the announcement of the results by the electoral commission in Nairobi on 11 August 2017.© REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Uhuru Kenyatta was on Friday declared the winner of Kenya’s August 8 presidential election by the country’s election commission.

The commission said that Kenyatta won Tuesday's election with 54 percent of the vote - 8,203,290 votes against Raila Odinga’s 44.7 percent - 6,762,224 votes.

The election had a voter turnout of 79.17 percent.

Eight candidates took part in the presidential contest, but the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and veteran opposition leader, Raila Odinga were the two front-runners.

Hundreds of police in anti-riot gear are in the streets of the capital, Nairobi, amid fears of further protests by opposition supporters.

The election has been a test of the stability of the East African economic power as many recalled the post-election violence a decade ago that left more than 1,000 dead.

Kenya has been relatively calm this week.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Kenyan opposition official James Orengo described the country's election process as a "charade" and a "disaster". The main opposition coalition boycotted the official announcement after refusing to sign off on the final results.

In recent days, opposition officials have described the election results as a fraud and claimed that Raila Odinga, the 72-year-old Nasa leader, was the legitimate winner.

Hours after voting ended, Odinga had rejected the results being streamed on the commission’s website, saying the commission database was hacked and results manipulated in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The commission denied the allegation, saying a hacking attempt had failed.

Another opposition leader, Musalia Mudavadi, said that they have found a fictitious polling center where 1,000 people supposedly voted.

"Going to court for us is not an alternative," Orengo said on Friday. "We've been there before." He did not say what measures, if any, the opposition might take.

A series of election observers have called on losers in the election to accept defeat. John Kerry, the former US secretary of state, called on Kenyan political candidates and parties to stay within the law to resolve any disputes.

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

Opposition politicians on Friday accused the observers of “rushing to judgment” and collusion with the government.

This year’s campaign was marred by hundreds of violent incidents, including the murder of a high-profile election official.

The head of the European Union delegation, Marietje Schaake, said her team had seen no signs of “centralised or localised manipulation” of the voting process but that there were concerns about the misuse of public funds at local and national levels by all parties.

Observers see the election as the last showdown of a dynastic rivalry between the families of Kenyatta, 55, and Odinga that has lasted more than half a century. The candidates’ fathers, Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, went from allies in the struggle for independence from Britain to bitter rivals.

The two candidates in the poll belong to two of the country’s main ethnic groups, Kenyatta from the Kikuyu, the largest, and Odinga from the Luo. Both have built coalitions with other influential communities in a country where voting still takes place largely along ethnic lines.

This is Odinga’s fourth attempt at the presidency. In 2007, he lost to Mwai Kibaki in a highly disputed election that resulted in violence. The post-election violence left over 1,000 people dead and thousands displaced. The crisis was solved after the parties agreed to form a coalition government in which Odinga became the Prime Minister.

Odinga also lost the 2013 vote to Kenyatta and took allegations of vote-rigging to the Supreme Court, which rejected his case.

Meanwhile, Kenyatta has extended an olive branch to his arch-rival and other members of the opposition.

"To our brothers and our worthy competitors, I say to you: we are not enemies, we are citizens of one republic.

"And like in any competition, there shall always be winners and losers, but we will remain members of one nation," President Kenyatta said at Bomas of Kenya moments after he was handed his certificate.

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