22 April 2014

Kenya: IEBC Dismisses Election Rigging Claims

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has dismissed media reports that the March 4, 2013 general election was rigged in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The IEBC has said the claims are "bar talk".

In a statement by its communication and corporate affairs manager Tabitha Mutemi, the commission has said the reports that some of its officials participated in the rigging are "grossly misleading, inflammatory, lacking in facts and only serve the purpose of sensational reading."

The Nation and Standard carried stories of purported secret recording of an anonymous senior election official that the last general election had serious flaws.

"This is not the first wild allegation about the elections. Even on the very election date, rumours were doing the rounds that IEBC chief executive officer James Oswago had been kidnapped. It did not deter malicious elements that Oswago could be seen on TV at the Bomas of Kenya media briefings," the statement reads.

IEBC said the media did not ascertain the credibility of the information on election rigging. "It would have been prudent and professional to disclose the allegations and seek our response before publication to allow us ascertain or at least give our view about it," the statement reads.

Uhuru won with 6,173,433 votes while his main challenger Cord leader Raila Odinga garnered 5,340,546. Uhuru narrowly achieved the constitutional requirement of obtaining more than 50 per cent of the vote commanding a share of 50.07 per cent against Raila's 43.31 per cent.

Cord challenged the results in the Supreme Court. The court ruled in favour of Uhuru. Raila has however maintained that the election was rigged in favour of Jubilee.

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