Kenyatta wins presidential poll with 98% vote
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga had already branded the repeat presidential election a farce
NAIROBI: Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won 98 per cent of the vote in a repeat presidential election in Kenya, although only 39 per cent of voters turned out due to an opposition boycott, the electoral commission said on Monday.
The announcement touched off small protests in a few opposition strongholds, but also celebrations in pro-Kenyatta areas of the east African country. Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga had al- ready branded the election a farce.
Given the deeply polarised atmosphere, some Kenyans fear that the violence seen so far - for the most part protesters clashing with police - is starting to take on ethnic overtones after two deaths in clashes between rival groups at the weekend.
On Monday, the U.S. ambassador said Washington was “profoundly concerned” by the outbreaks of violence in Kenya - east Africa’s biggest economy and a key security ally of the West against extremism - since the October 26 re-run election.
In his victory speech, Kenyatta repeated his belief that his victory in the original August 8 election - later nullified by the Supreme Court due to a string of irregularities - was legitimate and said dialogue would have to wait if the opposition was going to lodge court cases again.
“My victory today is just part of a process that is likely to once again be subjected to a constitutional test through our courts ... I will submit to this constitutional path regardless of the outcome,” Kenyatta said.
“Those who are going to ask me: ‘Are you going to engage in dialogue?’ ... Let them (the opposition) first and foremost exhaust all their constitutional options.”
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 that poor security prevented balloting in those areas but the final announcement could go ahead as it would not “materially affect” the result. As the election commission began reading results on Monday, around 100 youths listening through their mobile phones gathered in Nairobi’s Kawangware slum, chanting “No Raila No Peace”. Full story @ timesofoman.com/world