Kenya’s opposition on Thursday demanded that veteran leader Raila Odinga be declared winner of the presidential election, even though official counting of the ballots gives incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta a commanding lead.
Musalia Mudavadi, a senior official in the opposition coalition, told reporters that information from “confidential sources” at the election commission showed Odinga had secured victory by just under 300,000 votes, but provided no evidence.
Mudavadi told journalists “confidential sources” that he declined to name within the IEBC had revealed the “actual results”, showing Odinga had won the presidential poll with 8.04 million votes against incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta with 7.75 million.
The public website of the electoral commission (IEBC), which is publishing results as they stream in electronically from polling stations, shows Kenyatta with 8.1 million votes ahead of Odinga with 6.7 million.
According to the website, results are in from 98 percent of polling stations, however the IEBC has urged patience as it cross-checks results with scanned forms.
“Evidently, the accurate and lawful results in the presidential election is the transmission received from the polling stations and contained in the IEBC servers and not the unverified displays,” said Mudavadi.
“We demand that the IEBC chairperson announce the presidential election results forthwith and declare Raila Amolo Odinga… as the duly elected president.”
Asked why he wouldn’t elaborate on the source of the information, Mudavadi cited the case of IEBC computer expert Chris Msando, whose torture and murder in late July raised fears that an attempt was under way to manipulate the IEBC’s electronic voting system.
“When we are told at the appropriate time, whether it is within a court of law, then we shall present our evidence,” Mudavadi said.
Minutes later, hundreds of Odinga supporters, mainly young men, poured onto the streets of the opposition stronghold of Kisumu in celebration.
At least one truck of anti-riot police followed them, a Reuters witness said.
Odinga has said provisional results were “fictitious” and a product of a hacked system, but he has again put forward no evidence.
International observers on Thursday praised the handling of the election and the European Union mission said it had seen no sign of manipulation.