Kenyan Vice President William Ruto has come out on top in a hotly contested presidential election, according to official results reported yesterday by Kenyan media.
The commotion highlighted the fraying and mounting tensions inside the national tally hall as the country awaits the official results of last Tuesday’s elections. There have been ironic bargains online about the brawl from .
In the presidential election, Ruto won 51% of the vote, while left-leaning opposition leader Laila Odinga won 48%, according to official verification results reported by the Nation Media Group.
Confusion over vote counting in the media and slow progress by the Electoral Commission have fueled unrest in Kenya, the wealthiest and most stable country in East Africa.
Reuters was unable to access the official ballot tally for Sunday’s presidential election. The live feed showing results at the National Aggregation Center disappeared hours ago.
When asked about the tally, a committee spokesperson referred Reuters to the live feed. Other election officials said they could not provide the information.
Officially verified on Saturday, the result was just over a quarter of the vote, with Odinga leading with 54% of the vote and Root with 45%.
The winner must get 50% of the votes plus 1. The committee will declare the winner within seven days of the vote.
A Reuters tally of 263 of the 291 constituency-level provisional results from yesterday’s 1800 GMT showed Ruto leading with just under 52% and Odinga with 47.5%. The two minor candidates shared less than 1 percent between them.
Reuters did not count 19 forms because they were unsigned, had no totals, were illegible, or had other problems.
The preliminary tally is based on a form that is corrected if discrepancies are discovered during the formal verification process.
Many checks and balances are intended to try to prevent collusion allegations like the ones that sparked violence in 2007, when more than 1,200 people were killed, and in 2017, when more than 100 were killed.
Odinga and Root are battling to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has completed two terms in office. Kenyatta broke with Root after the last election and recommended Odinga for president.
Kenyatta left the government without addressing an endemic that left Kenya burdened with expensive infrastructure project debt and hollowed out all levels of government. The president-elect will also shoulder the rapidly rising food and fuel costs.
Ruto’s success reflects widespread dissatisfaction with Kenyatta’s legacy. The same is true in some countries where presidents have swept the vote before.
Many Kenyans also did not vote, saying neither candidate had any influence over them.
Yesterday, Ruto party member Johnson Sakaja won the governorship of Nairobi, the wealthiest and most populous of the 47 counties.
As the competition continues to heat up, party members are becoming increasingly agitated at the tallying centers known as Bomas. Late Saturday, Laila Odinga’s chief agent, Saitabao Ole Kanchory, grabbed the microphone and announced, “Bomas, Kenya is a crime scene,” before authorities switched off the microphone.
Party agents brawled with police and election officials, and at one point even tried to drag one official out.
Scenes broadcast on national news were baffled by Kenyans who urged leaders to grow up.
Human rights activist Aramin Kimasi tweeted: “The reckless actions in Bomas by the so-called leaders who rapidly provoke the country must be condemned.” “Let the drama end. Let the process continue.”
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/722666/Kenya-presidential-vote-count-Ruto-surges-ahead Kenyan president’s votes: route soars