Kenyatta wins 98% in boycotted poll
KENYAN President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared victor yesterday of the country’s deeply divisive elections.
Kenyatta took 98% of the ballots cast in a poll boycotted by rival Raila Odinga, sparking fears of further violence in opposition strongholds and a possibility of more legal battles.
Despite his crushing win, the turnout of just 38.8% among 19.6 million registered voters is set to raise questions about the credibility of an election that has plunged Kenya into its worst crisis in a decade.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said Kenyatta had received 7 483 895 votes to Odinga’s 73 228 – less than 1% of votes cast – in a sign the boycott had held.
A total of 7 616 217 cast ballots in the protest-hit election on Thursday.
The vote was the chaotic climax of two months of political drama, after the Supreme Court overturned Kenyatta’s victory in August 8 polls over widespread irregularities and mismanagement by the IEBC.
Violent protests, the murder of an IEBC official and the resignation of another who fled the country condemning a flawed process, have seen the country lurch from crisis to crisis during the election period.
Chebukati -- who just before the election had called into doubt its credibility due to internal IEBC divisions and political interference – said he was confident the poll had been free, fair and credible.
Ahead of the announcement, security was stepped up in flashpoint areas in the west, in Nairobi’s Mathare slum and its central business district and also in the coastal city of Mombasa, a police source said.
Shortly after the results were announced, demonstrators began burning tyres in the western city of Kisumu as well as in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. At least nine people have died since election day, many shot by police according to rights groups, taking the death toll since the first presidential election on August 8 to 49.
Odinga refused to take part in the rerun, accusing the IEBC of failing to make sufficient reforms to ensure fairness.
He had called on his voters to stay away on election day. But in the west, many blocked polling stations, leading to violent clashes with police.
Plans to restage the vote in the western regions on Saturday were quickly called off after a second day of protests.
Chebukati has abandoned plans to reschedule the vote in 25 violence-hit areas.