10 August 2017

Kenya: 'Concede Defeat and Move On,' Us' Kerry Tells Kenya Election Losers

Photo: Evans Habil/Daily Nation
National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga .

Kenya's election process got the thumbs up from at least seven observer missions from outside the country, although most have expressed some concern about possible hacking and the way those alleging this are dealing with this.

Head of the Commonwealth's observer team, former Ghana president John Mahama, said: "Kenya has the potential to be the most inspiring democracy in Africa" should it conclude the elections process successfully.

Preliminary results showed incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in the lead with 54.3% of the vote, and challenger and opposition leader Raila Odinga with 44.8% of the vote. These results were yet to be verified and the elections body had until Tuesday to declare the final result.

Head of the African Union's team, former president Thabo Mbeki, said the people of Kenya and its elections institutions had done well to ensure that the people of Kenya's views were heard on building a peaceful and democratic country to overcome poverty and unemployment.

"Hopefully nothing will happen to spoil that outcome," he said.

'I know how it feels to lose'

Former US secretary of state, John Kerry, who led the Carter Center's observer team, urged those who lost in the elections to concede defeat. "I know how it feels to lose," he said, adding that he had lost the race for the US presidency and had a lot of reasons to complain. "But you have to move on," he said.

On allegations that the electoral body's computers were hacked to alter results, Kerry said it was important that paper ballots and processes were used to tell the final results. There were agents from both parties at each polling station to sign off results forms, he said.

The European Union observer team praised the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision's (IEBC) commitment to transparency. It called on Kenyans to exercise "patience and restraint" as they awaited final results.

The National Democratic Institute's observer mission praised the elections process and said they had full confidence in the courts to arbitrate in elections disputes should this be needed.

Violent female candidates

It expressed concern with the discrimination and even violence female candidates suffered during the elections process, and also said the issue of fake news in this country, which cause divisions and suspicion, should be addressed.

Observer missions also expressed concern about the murder of the IEBC's information technology manager, saying it should be investigated thoroughly.

Odinga has voiced concerns about vote-rigging, claiming the results system was hacked in Kenyatta's favour.


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