Kenyatta Ahead in Kenya Vote

President Uhuru Kenyatta casts his ballot inside  a polling station in his hometown of Gatundu  in Kiambu county, Kenya on August 8.President Uhuru Kenyatta casts his ballot inside  a polling station in his hometown of Gatundu  in Kiambu county, Kenya on August 8.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta maintained his strong lead in the presidential election count on Wednesday with 85% of polling stations reporting, the election commission said.

Its website showed Kenyatta with 54.8% of the vote against 44.3% for opposition leader Raila Odinga, a margin of nearly 1.4 million votes, Reuters reported.

However, Odinga said hackers broke into election commission computer systems overnight, leading to massive fraud.

The election commission said the voting process was free and fair and it was investigating whether or not its computer system was hacked.

Odinga’s comments raised concerns of unrest over the results in Kenya, East Africa’s leading economy and a regional hub. More than 1,000 people died after the 2007 election.

Speaking at a news conference, Odinga urged his supporters to remain calm, but added: “I don’t control the people”. His deputy Kalonzo Musyoka also called for calm but said the opposition might call for unspecified “action” at a later date.

Police fired teargas shortly after Odinga spoke at a group of 100 of his supporters in the western city of Kisumu, which is his stronghold. The unarmed men, who had been chanting “No Raila, no peace,” scattered.

Kenyatta, a 55-year-old businessman seeking a second five-year term, had held such a lead since the start of counting after Tuesday’s peaceful vote, the culmination of a hard-fought contest between the heads of Kenya’s two political dynasties.

Under Kenyan law, results from each polling station should be recorded on a form signed by observers from each party in the polling station, then posted by the election board on a website.

The measure is supposed to help ensure the elections are not rigged and parties can cross-check results.

Odinga ran in Kenya’s last two elections and lost, blaming vote rigging following irregularities at both polls.

In 2007, tallying was stopped and the incumbent president declared the winner, triggering an outcry from Odinga’s camp. The ethnic and political violence that followed killed 1,200 people and displaced 600,000.

International Criminal Court cases against Kenyatta and his now-deputy, William Ruto, for helping direct that violence, collapsed as witnesses died or disappeared.


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