Kenyan President Wins Second Term as Opposition Cries Foul

  • Kenyatta secures 54.7% of vote, beating main rival Odinga
  • Opposition leader claimed polls were rigged and he is winner

Kenyan President Wins Second Term as Vote Disputed

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected for a second term after his main challenger, Raila Odinga, alleged vote-rigging and demanded he be declared winner, stoking fears of unrest in East Africa’s biggest economy.

Kenyatta, 55, got 54.7 percent of votes cast on Aug. 8, securing the majority required to win, Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a televised briefing Friday in the capital, Nairobi. Odinga, the 72-year-old former prime minister who was making his fourth bid for the presidency, garnered 44.7 percent.

“I wish to declare Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta as president-elect and Honorable William Ruto as deputy president-elect,” Chebukati said. The National Super Alliance, a five-party opposition coalition led by Odinga, disputed the IEBC’s provisional results and presented documents it said showed Odinga was the real victor -- figures the electoral body called “plainly falsified.”

Kenyatta will continue at the helm of a country that’s the world’s largest exporter of black tea and is a regional hub for companies including Google Inc. and General Electric Co. The opposition’s dispute over the results sets the stage for a repeat of the election-related violence that has stalked Kenya since it became a multiparty democracy in 1991. In the worst outbreak, ethnic clashes left at least 1,100 people dead after a disputed 2007 vote.

Eight candidates ran in the presidential election, with opinion polls released in the lead-up showing neither Kenyatta nor Odinga would secure a first-round victory, a result that would have required a runoff vote.

About 78.9 percent of the 19.6 million registered voters cast ballots at 40,883 polling stations in 290 constituencies. Voting was largely peaceful, according to observers from the African Union, European Union and Commonwealth.

— With assistance by Adelaide Changole, and Bella Genga

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