Rerun Poll Marred by Violence and Boycott From Opposition Coalition
After a highly controversial poll rerun, President Uhuru Kenyatta has been re-elected for a second term after garnering 98% of the vote.
Amid the strong opposition and boycott from the camp of Raila Odinga, Kenyatta’s main rival, the rerun election was pushed through. The results showed a landslide victory for Kenyatta’s camp. He received 98.25% of votes cast in this rerun. Odinga, 72, and leader of the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition alliance, who refused to participate in the poll, received just 0.96% of the vote.
Turnout for the election was low due to suspension in several protest-hit constituencies. The poll was not held in 25 constituencies across four counties – Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori. According to the IEBC, 38.84 percent of registered voters turned up to cast their ballot – that is 7.6 million of the 19.6 million registered voters.
Odinga Rejects Results
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has been vocal in his objections to the rerun election from the start. He rejected the results as well.
Mr Odinga called the result “a sham” but made no mention of any legal challenge.
In his first official reaction to the re-run, Mr Odinga encouraged civil society groups for a “national resistance movement” including the formation of a “people’s assembly.” Odinga’s call was focused on the restoration of democracy.
“This election must not stand … It will make a complete mockery of elections and might well be the end of the ballot as a means of instituting government in Kenya. It will completely destroy public confidence in the vote,” Odinga said.
The Controversial Election in September
The rerun election was launched after the country’s Supreme Court nullified the previous election in September, in which Kenyatta won. However, the IEBC cited irregularities as the main reason to overturn the results. Odinga also claimed the results were hacked.
When the IEBC failed to give Kenya’s highest court access to its computer servers, the court ruled the results were fraudulent and ordered a rerun within 60 days.
The rerun was held on October 26, but Odinga showed strong opposition to it and was not happy of the results. The former medical engineer in former East Germany urged his supporters to boycott the election, and activists tried to sabotage it.
About 50 people are reported to have died in violence since Mr Kenyatta was declared the winner of August’s election.