kenya elections

Kenya: anxiety over presidential poll results 

Kenyans have been urged to exercise calm as they await the official announcement of results in last week’s presidential election. 

Haven’t the results been announced? 

Only about half of the results have been announced. Of the announced results, which cover about 50% of the country’s constituencies, longtime aspirant Raila Odinga trails his main rival, Deputy-president William Ruto. With 51.25% of the current tally, Ruto has defied pre-election projections that tipped Odinga as favorite. Odinga, who currently has 48.09% of the tally, must secure a significant majority of the remaining votes to win the contest. 

Why is the final result taking so long? 

Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, has accused party agents of delaying the tallying process with unnecessary questions. Riot police have also been deployed to the tallying center, amidst growing agitation among political party agents. The electoral commission is under increasing pressure to collate and announce the complete results by Tuesday, 16 August. 

With a history of election-related violence, Kenyans are hoping that any potential dispute over the results would be addressed peacefully through the courts. Amnesty International and Transparency International joined other civil society groups on Sunday to urge restraint. “We call on all political candidates, their supporters, and the public to exercise restraint. We must all avoid raising tensions that could easily trigger violence”, the joint statement read. 

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