Kenyatta wins Kenya presidency

Supporters of Kenyan Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta celebrate in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday.  

Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first Prime Minister and President Jomo Kenyatta, has won the presidential election after days of anxious waiting as technical glitches delayed the announcement of the results.

Mr. Kenyatta won just over 50 per cent of the vote compared to approximately 43 per cent polled by his rival, incumbent Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, thereby narrowly avoiding a second round runoff.

Under Kenyan law, the winning candidate must win at least 50 percent of the total vote and 25 per cent of the vote in each county to win the presidency.

Mr. Kenyatta’s victory is likely to pose difficult questions for the international community as the International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted him for his role in the violence that marred the previous election in 2007. More than 1, 200 Kenyans were killed that year, when Mr. Odinga accused the government of the time of rigging the vote, prompting widespread ethnic violence.

The ICC has accused Mr. Kenyatta, one of the country’s wealthiest men, of financing and arming ethnic militias who participated in the carnage. His running mate, William Ruto, has been indicted as well. Mr. Kenyatta has denied the charges and said he will continue the fight the case and clear his name.

Technical glitches

Polling was largely peaceful this time around as 86 per cent of the registered electorate queued up to cast their votes, but the results were complicated by technical glitches in an electronic vote tallying system that initially overstated the number of rejected ballots by a factor of eight. Last Wednesday, the electronic system was abandoned in favour of manual counting.

Mr. Odinga’s supporters alleged that the voting-tallying “lacks integrity” and called for a recount. His camp is yet to concede defeat in the election and may approach the courts to contest the results.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 9:53:33 AM |

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