Kenyatta confirmed winner of election
Kenya’s incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta won 98 per cent of the vote in a repeated presidential election in which an opposition boycott helped lower turnout to 39 per cent, the Kenyan electoral commission said yesterday.
The announcement led to small protests in a few opposition strongholds but also celebrations in pro-Kenyatta areas. Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga said the October 26th election was a farce. Civil society groups also cited problems with the vote.
The violence has for the most part seen protesters clash with police but some Kenyans fear it is starting to take on ethnic overtones after two deaths in clashes between rival groups at the weekend. At least 66 people have died in overall election violence.
Yesterday, the US ambassador said Washington was “profoundly concerned” by the outbreaks of violence since the election rerun.
Kenya is east Africa’s richest economy and a key security ally of the West against militant Islam. It also a key regional trade hub.
In his victory speech, Kenyatta repeated his belief that his victory in the original August 8th election was legitimate and said dialogue would have to wait if the opposition was going to once again lodge court cases over the result. The supreme court nullified the August 8th vote on procedural grounds.
Kenyatta took 98 per cent of the vote, results from 266 out of 291 constituencies showed. The electoral commission said 7,616,217 valid votes were cast, representing 39 per cent of the 19.6 million registered voters.
Protests by Odinga’s supporters prevented polling stations from opening in 25 constituencies. The election commission said poor security prevented voting in those areas, but the final announcement could go ahead as it would not “materially affect” the result.