30 October 2017

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta Won Low Turnout Election By Landslide, Say Officials

The electoral commission has said fewer than half of eligible voters took part in the re-run presidential poll. Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga had boycotted the October 26 presidential election.

Incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta won Thursday's re-run presidential election with 98.2 percent of the vote, the electoral commission said on Monday.

The commission's head, Wafula Chebukati, said turnout for the disputed poll was nearly 39 percent.

The head of the Kenyan opposition, Raila Odinga, had called on his supporters to boycott the vote due to a lack of electoral reforms. Odinga, who was nonetheless listed on the ballot, received 0.96 percent share of the final tally.

"I'm satisfied that we were able to meet these conditions that have enabled the commission to deliver ... a free, fair and credible election," Chebukati said.

Chebukati had warned ahead of the election that his commission could not guarantee its credibility.

After Chebukati announced the results, Kenyatta called for peace, adding that he expected legal challenges to the final outcome.

"My victory today is just part of a process that is likely to once again be subjected to a constitutional test through our courts ... I will submit to this constitutional path regardless of the outcome," he said.

A disputed vote

The vote, which was marred by street violence, took place following a decision by the country's Supreme Court to order a re-run of the August 8 presidential election. The court said the electoral commission had committed "irregularities and illegalities" in the run up to the first vote.

But on the day of the re-run, Odinga called on the country to "not participate in any way in the sham election ... Convince your friends, neighbors and everyone else not to participate."

Odinga also told his supporters to refrain from protesting, but demonstrations nevertheless erupted in several opposition strongholds, including Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. At least three people were killed in clashes between demonstrators and police.

On Monday, US ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec warned ofescalating tensions in the country, saying Kenyans needed "to resolve the deep divisions that the electoral process has exacerbated."


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