Observers back Kenya’s ‘credible’ election process

ADDIS ABABA/Ethiopia, NAIROBI/Kenya

More election observers on Thursday termed the recent presidential and parliamentary polls in Kenya as credible, throwing a spanner in the works of the country's opposition which claims the entire exercise was fraught with irregularities.

Addressing a news conference in capital Nairobi, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading a team from the Carter Center, backed the efforts of over 400 observers from nine observer missions during the elections.

These people have been on the ground for months, I thank the commitment of all of them from nine observer missions who have all agreed on the prospects of these elections that they were credible, Kerry said.

So far, at least seven observer missions have already spoken in favor of the elections, praising Kenya's electoral body -- the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Among the observers were teams from the East African Community, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union, the European Union and the African Electoral Observation Group.

The IGAD chairman and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn urged Kenyans to respect the election results.

In a statement issued from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday, Desalegn said winners and losers of the election must respect the will of the people.

Urge to stay calm

He said Kenyans had cast their votes in a democratic manner. He urged the parties and candidates to stay calm until the end of the election process.

However, the opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, continued to reject the preliminary results that show the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta taking the lead.

On Thursday, in a news conference in Nairobi organized by the National Super Alliance (NASA), the opposition again released evidence, allegedly from sources from within Kenya's electoral body IEBC, showing that Raila Odinga was leading with 8,041,726 votes while incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta hasd 7,755,428 votes.

We have now received further information from confidential IEBC sources furnishing us with the actual presidential election results contained in their database, NASA spokesman Musalia Mudavadi said.

We demand that the IEBC chairperson announce the presidential election results forthwith and declare [...] Raila Amolo Odinga and [...] Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as the duly elected president and deputy president of the Republic of Kenya respectively, Mudavadi added.

Mudavadi then proceeded to make public the undoctored authentic and legitimate results of the presidential election as contained in the IEBC servers in the form of printed material.

The opposition also urged their supporters to remain calm and peaceful.

5 killed

On Wednesday, five people were killed in protests after Odinga claimed the voting process had been rigged.

According to the opposition party leader, the electronic voting system and the electoral commission's servers had been hacked using the credentials of the slain information and technology official, Chris Msando.

The IEBC official had been tortured and killed a week before the elections.

Odinga also released evidence to the media that supposedly proved that hackers had used the credentials of Msando to infiltrate the system after voting on Aug. 8.

He said the account was used to rig the elections in favor of Kenyatta and claimed that his parallel vote tally showed him in the lead with 8.1 million votes.

So far 97 percent of the votes have been counted. According to official figures, Kenyatta leads with 54.3 percent votes while Odinga is behind with 44.8 percent votes.

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Source: Anadolu Agency