30 December 2007

Kenya: Raila Calls for Vote Recount

Nairobi — The outcome of Kenya’s presidential elections is headed for a major dispute even before the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) declares the winner. ODM Presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga called a press conference on Sunday morning demanding the ECK to conduct a national audit and recount of the votes.

Raila said the process of releasing results so far was a “fraud” and ECK had “doctored the results” in favour of incumbent presidents and Party of National Unity candidate, Mwai Kibaki.

Asked whether he would seek the intervention of the courts, Raila responded that Kenya’s courts could not salvage the situation since they are in tight control of the Government. “We will not go to the courts controlled by President Kibaki.”

Raila urged the ECK chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu to do justice for Kenya by refusing to announce “cooked” results and further urged him to resign instead of releasing fraudulent figures.

ODM claimed that some constituencies cleverly withheld their results in order to “top up” in the event that they would lose. He mentioned Juja, Nithi, Maragua, Kiambaa, and Gatanga, which are Kibaki strongholds, as having presented different results to ECK other than what was announced at the tallying centres.

Raila alleged that Kibaki had initially garnered 52,000 votes in Juja, but ECK reported he got 78,000. In Nithi, ODM agents claimed Kibaki got 70,000, but totals showed he had 95,000 votes. In Maragua, Raila said the results showed a turnout of more than 100 percent.

He further urged Kibaki, as the “gentleman of Kenyan politics” to honourably accept defeat, in order to leave a legacy of “having made credible contribution to the growth of democracy in Kenya.

Raila observed that it was preposterous in Kenya to win an election from two regions. “ It is not possible to win from two tribes. Kenya is a multi ethnic nation”, he said.

According to ECK records, Raila and Kibaki are in neck-to-neck with 3,880,053 and 3,842,051.

Both parties claim they have won the polls, whose delays have seen chaos tension and rising in the country. Following the chaos that erupted in the country and at ECK KICC offices, security has been tightened.

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