Kenya’s opposition walked out of the presidential election counting process on Friday minutes before the electoral commission was expected to declare President Uhuru Kenyatta re-elected for a further five-year term.
James Orengo, a campaign manager for Raila Odinga, the main opposition candidate, described the tabulation process as a “charade” and a “tragedy”.
“We raised some very serious concerns [with the commission] and they have not responded to them,” said Musalia Mudavadi, another opposition senior official. “Since our issues have not been addressed, we will not be party to the process they are about to make.”
Provisional results show that after a bitterly-fought campaign Mr Kenyatta won 54.2 per cent of the votes, compared to Mr Odinga’s 44.9 per cent.
A few hours earlier the two men said they would be willing to accept the commission’s declaration if it opened its computer servers to analysis. The opposition believes the computers have been hacked to manipulate the result.
Mr Mudavadi said the commission refused to do this before declaring the result, which he said was unacceptable.
International election observers, including former US secretary of state John Kerry and Thabo Mbeki, a former South African president, have urged anyone with grievances with the process to take them to court.
But James Orengo, Mr Mudavadi’s deputy, said: “Going to court is not an alternative, we have been there before.”
He was referring to 2013 when Mr Odinga believed the presidential election was stolen from him during manipulation during the tabulation process. The former prime minister appealed to the Supreme Court but his petition was rejected.
Mr Orengo said: “I think the judgement is out there in the court of public opinion.” He declined to say whether the opposition would encourage its supporters to start street protests. He said the opposition would explore its “constitutional alternatives”.
He also attacked the international monitors from the Carter Center, which Mr Kerry represented, the African Union, Commonwealth and the EU as being biased.
“They should vet them to determine whether they have relationships with the governments they’ve been sent to observe,” he said.