Running mate of Raila Odinga says transmission system a failure
A day before, election officials said the new electronic voting system broke down
Kenyans held a general election Monday
The running mate of one of Kenya’s two frontrunners in the presidential election said Thursday that the vote tallying should stop because it is ‘“doctored” and lacks integrity.
A day before the announcement, election officials had said the new electronic voting system broke down, snarling the process and forcing the tallying to be done manually.
The running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, described the transmission system as a failure. He said his Cord Coalition has evidence the vote is doctored, and his coalition is looking at other options, including a court injunction.
Musyoka, who is the running mate of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said the announcement is not a call for protests and urged their supporters to maintain peace.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is ahead of Musyoka’s boss in the vote count three days after the election Monday.
Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding father, has maintained a lead for the most part since polls closed.
Odinga’s team is not the only one expressing discontent.
Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition on Wednesday accused Britain of interfering in the election, according to Kenyan media.
The accusations prompted the UK Foreign Office to release a statement Wednesday.
“Claims of British interference, including by the High Commission, in the electoral process are entirely false and misleading,” the statement said.
Election officials have urged citizens to be calm and patient, hoping to avoid tension and distrust in the system, which contributed to post-election violence in December 2007.
At the time, the nation plunged into ethnic violence after Odinga disputed results that declared the incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, as the winner, alleging the election had been rigged.
At the time, protesters took to the streets, where supporters of both camps fought one another.
More than 1,200 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced – the worst violence since the nation gained independence from Britain in 1963.
Those clashes ended with the formation of a power-sharing government with Kibaki as president and Odinga as prime minister.
Kenya’s election carries significance far beyond its borders.
As the largest economy in East Africa, it is a crucial trade route into the rest of the continent and provides an important buffer of stability in a region that includes the fledgling Somali government and the politically tense Sudan and South Sudan.
Kenya is also a major U.S. ally in the war against Islamist militants in the region and has remained relatively peaceful amid civil wars in neighboring nations.