|Rigging claims throw Kenya vote into chaos|
|Thursday, 07 March 2013 18:09|
Monday’s elections in the regional powerhouse were the first since 2007 when a dispute over the counting process erupted into weeks of deadly violence that left more than 1 100 people dead.
“We have evidence that the results we have received have been doctored,” Odinga’s running mate, outgoing vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, told reporters, adding that in some cases “total votes cast exceeds the actual number of registered voters”.
Odinga says he was robbed of victory in the last polls in 2007 when disputed results triggered the bloody ethnic killings.
But Musyoka urged calm, stressing that his accusations were "not a call to mass action" and that the party was "committed to the principle of rule of law".
“Because of these concerns, we as a coalition take the position that the national vote tallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped," Musyoka said, demanding that “primary documents” from polling stations be used.
Kenyatta, who faces a trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity over the 2007-08 violence, held a clear lead as counting continued yesterday, with almost half of estimated ballots cast so far tallied. As of 9am two-and-a-half days since polls closed, Kenyatta had won 54 percent of valid votes against 40 percent for Odinga, according to official results relayed by Kenyan media.
Both Kenyatta — one of Africa’’s richest and most powerful men — and his running mate William Ruto face charges of orchestrating murder, rape, forcible transfer and persecution in the aftermath of the 2007 elections.
Leaders have urged calm after hitches caused an electronic tallying system to stall, forcing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Wednesday to start reading out results delivered in person by returning officers.
Kenyatta’s party has also raised major concerns over electoral process.
Party official Charity Ngilu said on Wednesday that the inclusion of mountains of spoiled ballots in the count was motivated by a “sinister and suspect” logic.
Initial results sent electronically showed that the spoiled ballots made up more than five percent of votes cast, greatly adding to the number needed for a candidate to break the 50 percent threshold for a first round win and increasing the prospect of a runoff due within a month. — AFP