Kenya’s elec­tion panel says Pres­i­dent Keny­atta re-elected.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Christo­pher Torchia and Tom Odula

Kenya’s elec­toral com­mis­sion an­nounced that the cur­rent pres­i­dent, Uhuru Keny­atta, has been re­elected, but op­po­si­tion can­di­date Raila Odinga al­leged that the re­sults of Tues­day’s bal­lot­ing were rigged.

NAIROBI, KENYA» Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta was de­clared the win­ner Fri­day of Kenya’s hard-fought pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, but op­po­si­tion can­di­date Raila Odinga al­leged the vot­ing was rigged.

In an­nounc­ing the re­sults of Tues­day’s con­test, the elec­tion com­mis­sion said Keny­atta won a sec­ond term with 54 per­cent in bal­lot­ing it called “cred­i­ble, fair and peace­ful.”

Hun­dreds of riot po­lice were in the streets of the cap­i­tal, Nairobi, amid fears of fur­ther protests by op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers, who called the vote a “cha­rade” and said chal­leng­ing the out­come in court wasn’t an op­tion.

Keny­atta, the 55-year-old son of Kenya’s first pres­i­dent af­ter in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain, ap­pealed for calm and unity af­ter the bit­ter cam­paign.

“Kenya be­longs to all of us,” he said. “Let us shun vi­o­lence and let us refuse to be used for short-term po­lit­i­cal gain.”

He said he was ex­tend­ing a “hand of friend­ship” to “our older brother,” Odinga.

“We need and must con­tinue to work to­gether for the wel­fare of our peo­ple and in or­der to keep this coun­try united,” said Keny­atta, who also de­feated Odinga in 2013. “We reach out to you. We reach out to your sup­port­ers.”

The elec­tion was a test of the sta­bil­ity of the East African eco­nomic power as many re­called the post­elec­tion blood­shed a decade ago that left more than 1,000 dead.

“We have seen the re­sults of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence and I am cer­tain there is no sin­gle Kenyan who would wish to go back to those days,” Keny­atta said.

Kenya had been rel­a­tively calm since the elec­tion but had braced for pos­si­ble vi­o­lence Fri­day night with po­lice in the cen­tral busi­ness district.

Although cel­e­bra­tions by back­ers of Keny­atta were re­ported in sev­eral cities across Kenya, gun­shots and screams were heard in at least two ar­eas pop­u­lated by Odinga sup­port­ers, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and a wit­ness.

The gun­fire rang out in the Nairobi slum of Kib­era and in the south­west­ern city of Kisumu, the wit­nesses said. Youths also were re­ported to be throw­ing stones at cars in Kib­era.

“There are gun­shots all over; we don’t know how it will end but we are pray­ing for peace,” said Kisumu res­i­dent Lu­cas Od­hi­ambo, adding that peo­ple were bel­low­ing through “vu­vuzela” noise­mak­ers when the re­sults were an­nounced “and po­lice moved in.”

The elec­tion com­mis­sion re­jected claims by Odinga, a for­mer prime min­is­ter, that its data­base was hacked and re­sults ma­nip­u­lated against him.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Sup­port­ers of Kenyan Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta cel­e­brate Fri­day in Kikuyu Town af­ter he was de­clared the win­ner of the elec­tion.

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