Middle East

First collusion allegations surface in Kenyan presidential election

Without providing any evidence, the secretary general of Kenya’s ruling party said there had been election fraud, fueling public anxiety yesterday as the media delayed the informal tally significantly from Tuesday’s tight vote.
Only the Electoral Commission has the power to declare the winner, but the media tally was seen as a bulwark against allegations of wrongdoing of the kind that previously sparked violence.
Kenya is the wealthiest and most stable country in East Africa, but it also has a history of violent electoral disputes. Over 1,200 of him died after the 2007 election, and over 100 of her after the 2017 election. President Uhuru Kenyatta will have to resign after serving two of his five-year terms, the longest.
The leading candidates are former political prisoner and veteran opposition leader Laila Odinga and Vice President William Ruto. Kenyatta fell out with Ruto and supported Odinga.
By yesterday morning, the media tally had largely stalled and Odinga and Root were evenly matched, just below the 50% mark needed to win. He was less than 1% split between her two other marginal candidates.
If there is no winner with more than 50% plus 1 vote, the two leading candidates will have a runoff vote. Yesterday, Electoral Commission chairman Wahra Chebkaty accused his party’s agents of the slow pace of the official tally, which had yet to exceed his 1.5% of the vote. “Agents in this exercise can’t proceed the way we’re doing it, as if we’re doing a forensic audit,” he said at a news briefing at the Aggregation Center. It’s not moving as fast as it should.This exercise needs to end as soon as possible.”
Late Thursday, the chairman of Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, which supports Odinga, argued for “massive and subtle rigging” after Ruto’s new party staged strong demonstrations in areas traditionally ruled by Kenyatta. issued a statement claiming that the “election process had become very compromised”.
The statement alleges voter intimidation, bribery, illegal display of campaign materials at polling stations, mistreatment of party members, and improper use of election materials. It offered no evidence or explained why the allegations were made so late. Reuters was unable to reach party officials for comment.
International observers have generally praised the progress of the election. Previous elections were largely determined by referendum blocs. But Root attempted to make this election about economics, portraying himself as his self-made “hustler” as opposed to a political “dynasty.” Odinga and Kenyatta are the sons of Kenya’s first Vice President and President, respectively. Business is very slow, said Ian Dunn, parcel service officer at a major bus park in Kisumu, home of Odinga.
“We are in the dark and this is not good for us. People are uneasy and we need to have a clear picture,” he said. “With allegations of manipulation flying around on social media, many are waiting to hear from Laila Odinga and William Ruto. Their words will influence how people react.”
The Electoral Commission is the only body legally authorized to declare the winner. Initially, we uploaded results form images from over 46,000 polling places, but did not tally them. Instead, the media house hired a team to download forms and fill them into a database. He is in over 99.7% of polling place results, but thousands are not counted by the media. A sudden slowdown began when about 80% of the votes were tallied.
Renowned Kenyan columnist and cartoonist Patrick Gasala criticized the slowdown, tweeting: Too good it didn’t last long. But Citizen and Nation media group executives said exhausted staff needed rest.
Citizen’s director of strategy, Linus Kaikai, said, “We now have about a third of the people we started with and are on pace within hours of the rest of the team returning. Steven Gitagama, CEO of Nation Media Group, said his staff also need rest and is focused on quality control. introduced Reuters to the Electoral Commission, known as the IEBC.
“The IEBC, not the media, is responsible for delivering results,” he said.
Yesterday morning, the Electoral Commission displayed the official tally of presidential election results on boards at major tallying centers. The share of the vote was 1.5%. Commissions have 7 days to announce the winner. At 1100 GMT, a Reuters tally of 199 of the 291 precinct-level results had Ruto leading with his 52.44% and Odinga with his 46.89%. 15 precinct-level result images were either illegible or missing totals.



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/722589/First-rigging-allegation-crops-up-in-Kenya-preside First collusion allegations surface in Kenyan presidential election

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