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Kenya suspended to announce results of presidential election

Ⓒ AFP – Patrick MEINHARDT – | Kenyan policeman sues protestor on 10 August 2017 in
Nairobi

Kenya held its breath on Friday in anticipation of the
winner of the presidential election, provisional results giving
the outgoing Uhuru Kenyatta widely favorite against his rival
Raila Odinga, who claims victory.

Everything began well on Tuesday, election day: the Kenyans
had moved to the polls in a calm and en masse, attesting to a
democratic fervor untouched by these general elections. But the
climate quickly deteriorated as the opposition multiplied its
accusations of fraud.

Sporadic violence, which killed four people, rekindled the
specter of murderous scenes that followed the 2007 presidential
election (at least 1,100 deaths).

On Thursday, the various international observation missions
took turns on television to lend support to the electoral
commission (IEBC), calling the Kenyans to patience and their
leaders to restraint, as did London and Washington.

But the Nasa opposition coalition persevered in its
allegations of fraud, claiming to have evidence, based on
internal sources from the IEBC, that Raila Odinga had won, and
directing the commission to “declare it the duly elected
president of the Republic of Kenya “.

In his written reply to Mr. Odinga’s camp, the panel found
gross tabulation errors in the documents purporting to credit
his victory and, according to him, from a Microsoft database,
when the IEBC uses Oracle.

In the evening, Odinga, 72, said he was “disappointed” by
observers, in an interview with CNN. “We do not want to see any
violence in Kenya. We know the consequences of what happened in
2008 and we do not want to see this happen again.” But “I do
not control anyone. People want justice,” he added.

– Last battle –

Ⓒ AFP – LUIS TATO – | Raila Odinga, the opposition candidate for the Kenyan
presidential election, on 10 August 2017 in Nairobi

“Any attempt to put pressure on the IEBC, like the one we
can see right now, is irregular and dangerous, because it could
set fire to the powder when the situation is already tense,”
commented Daily Daily Nation in its editorial, calling, as
international observers, any candidate with grievances to seize
the IEBC or justice.

“The process (leading to the proclamation of results) has
not been completed, and so there are as yet no results” that
could be challenged in this way.

The declaration of victory by the opposition on Thursday
aroused scenes of jubilation in Kisumu (west) and in several
shantytowns of Nairobi, fiefs of the opposition.

But the provisional results of the IEBC credit Friday Mr
Kenyatta 54.26% of the votes against 44.85% to Mr Odinga, out
of 99% of the polled polling stations. The name of the winner
will only be announced once the complete results have been
compiled and authenticated at the level of the 290
constituencies of the country, which the IEBC hopes to have
completed by Friday noon.

A possible victory of Mr. Kenyatta leaves fear a strong
feeling of bitterness among the opposition supporters, and
possible disturbances. On Wednesday, while Odinga denounced the
computer piracy of the IEBC database, clashes erupted in
opposition strongholds, police brutally repressing
protests.

The behavior of some 150,000 members of the security forces
deployed to the polls will be crucial in the days ahead.
Amnesty International and Mr. Odinga on Thursday called on them
not to disproportionately use force.

– Dynastic rivalry –

Ⓒ AFP – Aude GENET – | Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga

Accusations of fraud exacerbated the already weighted
passions of half a century of dynastic rivalry between the
Kenyatta and Odinga families.

The latter’s father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was briefly
vice-president, before losing the post-independence struggle
for power for the first head of state Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru’s
father.

In addition, Mr Odinga certainly delivers his last major
political battle, which he presented four times to the
presidential.

In 2007, he rejected the re-election of Mwai Kibaki, in a
vote tainted by numerous frauds according to observers. In
2013, he also challenged his defeat and turned in vain to
justice.

Mr Odinga, a member of the Luo community in the west of the
country, once again presented himself as the guarantor of a
more equitable distribution of the wealth of the most dynamic
economy in East Africa.

For his part, President Kenyatta, a
member of Kikuyu, the largest ethnic group in Kenya,
highlighted the economic development of the country with his
co-advisor William Ruto, including the new railway line between
Nairobi And Mombasa.

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