Odinga rejects election results

Arthur Greene

After losing Kenya’s presidential election to William Ruto, Raila Odinga has announced that he totally rejects the results and will seek to get them overturned.

At a media briefing in Nairobi on Tuesday, the 75-year-old accused the electoral body of “blatant disregard of the constitution” following chaotic scenes at the results centre on Monday.

After going to the polls last Tuesday, Kenya’s public had to wait an excruciating six days to find out the results of the closely fought contest.

With the election on a knife-edge, both Deputy President Ruto and leader of the opposition Odinga made comments over the weekend suggesting that they would accept the results, even if they lost.

“We will accept the outcome,” Odinga said. “If we win, we will celebrate, and if we lose we will also congratulate the winner because that’s what democracy is all about.”

However, following a relatively smooth process, the election descended into chaos on Monday. 

The announcement of the results was delayed by several hours as scuffles broke out around the results centre and reports emerged of election tampering.

Odinga’s chief agent Sitiabao Kanchory then called a press conference to dispute the results before they were even announced.

“We have intelligence reports that their system was penetrated and hacked and that some of the IEBC [Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission] officials actually committed electoral offences and some of them ought to have been arrested if they were not arrested,” Kanchory told the media.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission’s vice chair and three other commissioners disowned the results of the election. They said that they can’t take ownership of the results because of the “opaque nature” of the final phase of the election.

The chair of the electoral commission, Wafula Chebukati, said that staff members were being arrested at random.

After declaring the results “null and void” on Tuesday, Odinga said he would seek to overturn them in a court of law.

He urged his supporters to remain peaceful and not take the law into their own hands.

His plea for peace was made shortly after the body of Daniel Mbolu Musyoka, an election official, was found near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Musyoka went missing shortly after the polls opened on Tuesday but the reasons for his death remain unclear.

Image source: @TheEconomist