Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has been re-elected after a bitterly fought campaign against longtime rival Raila Odinga, who refused to recognise the result, calling the tabulation process a “sham”.
The electoral commission said Mr Kenyatta, who will serve until 2022, won 54.27 per cent of the vote in Tuesday’s ballot to Mr Odinga’s 44.74 per cent. Turnout was 79 per cent.
A jubilant Mr Kenyatta said that Kenyans should now unite, in his victory speech after receiving his election certificate from Wafula Chebukati, the commission chairman.
“Elections come and go, Kenya is here to stay,” he said. “Let us always remember that we are brothers and sisters. Your neighbour is still your neighbour. Let us be peaceful, let us reach out to one another. Let us share together. There’s no need for violence.
To Mr Odinga, who was not present, he said: “I reach out to you, I reach out to all your supporters, I reach out to all who were elected on now the opposition benches. We shall work together, we shall partner together, we shall grow together, we shall develop this country together.”
Mr Odinga’s National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition believes the results tabulation process was rigged. On Wednesday it said the computer system tallying the provisional results had been hacked. The following day Mr Odinga said “most” of the official results forms submitted to the national tallying centre were fake.
Officials gave no credible evidence to support either allegation.
On Friday Nasa said it would accept the results if the electoral commission opened up its computer servers for analysis. After the commission said it would only respond to this demand after the results declaration, Nasa walked out of the count.
James Orengo, a campaign manager, described the process as a “charade” and a “sham”, adding that the coalition would not contest the results in court.
Election rigging is a sensitive subject in Kenya, which has a history of election violence and allegations of manipulation. After the deeply flawed 2007 ballot, some 1,200 people were killed in inter-ethnic fighting triggered by the tabulation process.
Mr Odinga also believes the 2013 election was stolen from him during the tallying. He appealed to the Supreme Court, but his petition was rejected.
Fears that this year’s results were tampered with exacerbated by the murder of a senior electoral commission IT manager, Chris Msando, a week before the election.
Many Odinga supporters have promised to launch street demonstrations if their leader is not declared the winner. There have already been sporadic violent protests in some Nairobi slums and other Odinga heartlands since Wednesday when provisional results indicated Mr Kenyatta was the likely winner. At least two people have been shot dead in the clashes.
Heavy police presence was reported in several cities on Friday afternoon in anticipation of trouble.