Kenyatta declared winner of Kenyan elections
by Onize Ohikere & Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/11/17, 04:04 pm
UPDATE: Kenya’s electoral commission on Friday declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the country’s presidential election. Electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati announced Kenyatta won 54.27 percent of the votes, accounting for 8,203,290 votes. Challenger Raila Odinga, a former prime minister, came in second with 44.7 percent and 6,762,224 votes. The announcement came amid cheers and singing at the Bomas of Kenya cultural center, where the results were announced. “I’d like to thank the people for the confidence they’ve shown my administration, and to them, ours is a pledge that we will continue with the work that we have started,” Kenyatta said in his victory speech. He thanked the international election observers and said he has extended a “hand of friendship” to his competitors.
Protests in Nairobi and other cities began on Wednesday after Odinga announced that hackers had infiltrated the voting system in Kenyatta’s favor. Hundreds of police in anti-riot gear patrolled Nairobi on Friday, anticipating further protests. Kenyatta called for peace following the election and asked Kenyans to “remember we are brothers and sisters.”
OUR EARLIER REPORT (8/11/17 2:06 p.m.): As Kenyans await the official results of Tuesday’s presidential election, supporters of challenger Raila Odinga said an alleged hacking could have invalidated the vote. The election commission has rejected claims that its database was infiltrated and that an unofficial tally confirms Odinga as the winner. Provisional results show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over the 72-year-old Odinga, who may be facing his last chance at the presidency after three previous unsuccessful attempts. The vote counting and verification has been repeatedly delayed, but the commission by law has until Tuesday to announce the results. The opposition asked for access to the election commission’s servers to confirm whether the hacking took place. Odinga claims hackers infiltrated the commission’s computer system with the identity of a murdered election official and altered results to favor Kenyatta. International election observers say they have seen no signs of interference.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.