March 21 2018

Kenya election observers urge losing candidates to concede gracefully

March 21 2018, 10:02 | Jodi Jackson

A lonely water seller on what would normally be a busy Nairobi road on any other day

Kenyans take democracy into their own hands to prove free and fair elections

However, Mahama says election observers don't have the capacity to investigate allegations by opposition leader Raila Odinga that hackers infiltrated the Kenyan election commission's database and manipulated results in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Addressing news conference in Nairobi, NASA co-principal and presidential elections chief agent, Musalia Mudavadi, claimed they had scrutinized results from both IEBC and NASA agents and that what was being displayed on the screens by the electoral commission was misleading.

Odinga has said the systems and website of the electoral commission were hacked to produce a "fictitious" lead for Odinga's long-time rival President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Opposition claims of election rigging is no surprise given that Odinga nearly certainly won the last two elections only to have the Presidency stolen from him by rigged results.

Waguma Chebukati, the chairperson of the electoral commission, said that they would be looking into hacking claims.

The IEBC insists its electronic voting system - seen as key to avoiding fraud - was not compromised.

On Wednesday, violence flared in several cities, with angry protesters setting tires ablaze and blocking roads in the Mathare slums of the capital, Nairobi.

But memories are still fresh of a disputed poll in 2007 that led to two months of ethno-political violence, leaving 1,100 dead and displacing 600,000. Odinga further claims he has proof that over a million votes were improperly logged without the proper supporting documentation.

The electoral commission has not reacted to the claims that its IT systems had been hacked, but earlier it urged people to wait calmly for the full results of Tuesday's vote.

Kenyatta looked set for certain victory, with 8 million votes to Odinga's 6.7 million, according to the IEBC public website whose results are being cross-checked against polling forms from constituencies.

Election results from a polling station in Kibra constituency confirmed by the form 34A
Election results from a polling station in Kibra constituency confirmed by the form 34A

The presidential candidates' agents would have "special access" to the forms, though, the electoral commission said.

To a large extent, however, there is a general consensus that the IEBC handled the voting fairly well, and the officials have conducted themselves peacefully.

The electoral commission has already received almost all documents detailing the results from each polling station, Mr. Kerry said.

Worldwide observers have widely applauded the electoral commission's conduct, and note that the official results are based on paper ballots tallied and verified at polling stations, not those transmitted electronically.

Raw polling data published on its website says that with nearly all of results in, Mr Kenyatta - who is seeking a second term - is leading with about 54.3%, to Mr Odinga's 44.8% share of the vote.

Kenyatta, who was first elected in 2013, would begin a second term if the election results hold.

Alleging vote-rigging, he also brought up the unsolved torture and murder of a top election official just over a week before the vote.

All in all eight candidates contested the presidential elections.

The foreign missions said they have worked hand in hand with the Kenyan people and with Kenya's institutions to prepare for free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. "And at this particular time, at his age, he should concede defeat and the country goes on".

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