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Aug. 17, 2022

OWN CORRESPONDENT

3 min read

Raila Odinga rejects results

Raila Odinga rejects results

Kenya's Presidential runner-up, Raila Odinga

Story highlights

  • Ruto scored 51.25 percent of the vote on August 14
  • Odinga accuses the electoral chairman of bullying election counters

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KENYAN presidential runner-up Raila Odinga, whose Azimio La Umjoa coalition alleged vote-rigging in August 14 poll results, was speaking publicly for the first time since his defeat on Tuesday, August 16.

Deputy President William Ruto edged ahead of his main rival Odinga in Kenya’s presidential election.

Ruto scored 51.25 percent of the vote on August 14, reversing earlier gains for Odinga, who had 48.09 percent, according to figures from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which tallied results from nearly 50 percent of constituencies.

Addressing the nation from Azimio's media HQ in Nairobi, continued: "The figures announced by Mr Chebukati are null and void, and must be quashed by a court of law.

"Unless a unanimous decision is reached on any matter, the commission will be made by a majority of the members present", he says quoting from legislation, suggesting that the four out of seven dissenting electoral commissioners should have had their objections upheld.

"For avoidance of doubt, I want to repeat: We totally and without reservations reject the presidential resutls announced yesterday by [electoral commission chairman] Mr Chebukati," Mr Odinga says.

He also accused the electoral chairman of bullying election counters who disagreed with him.

"Millions of Kenyans turned out in large numbers in an attempt to choose their leaders... But yesterday our budding democracy suffered a major setback.

"Kenya faces a grave legal and political crisis as a result of the actions of Wafula Chebukati, the IEBC (election commission) chairman.

"What we saw yesterday was a travesty and a blatant disregard for the constitution and the laws of Kenya."

Odinga is a prominent figure in Kenya's struggle for independence. He became Kenya's first vice-president and thereafter, opposition leader. In Kenya's history, he was credited for the phrase "not yet uhuru" (not yet free), which is also the title of his autobiography, which was published in 1967.

Odinga has had five spirited presidential campaigns and all have ended in defeat.

As a member of parliament and formidable opposition politician in 1997, he went for the presidency and lost at a distant third after Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi won with 2.45 million votes, followed by Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party, who received 1.9 million votes.

With 665 000 votes, Odinga had announced his arrival in the race.

In 2002, he didn't run, but threw his support behind Kibaki, who won big with 3.65 million votes - a sound hiding for his rival at the time, Uhuru Kenyatta, who bagged 1.84 million votes. For that, Odinga was credited with a post as a cabinet minister.

Raila Odinga rejects results

Kenya's Deputy President Willian Ruto

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The vice-chairperson of Kenya's election commission Juliana Cherera was one of the four commissioners who refused to endorse the results of the presidential results announced on Monday.

She has been explaining their reasoning.

She claimed that if you added the percentages as announced by the chairperson of the commission, Wafula Chebukati, the sum came to 100.01%.

The claim needs to be tested and could be down to a rounding error, but Ms Cherera described this as a mathematic absurdity that defied logic.

She added that the results of the presidential elections did not reflect the opinion of the commissioners, because they had to process them before they were declared and they did not get to see all of them.

BBC/Reuters

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