Raila Odinga calls Kenya election results null and void, calls for calm

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NAIROBI – Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga declared the election results “null and void” and promised to challenge them in court, ignoring calls for him to give in to the declared victory.

Ruto was elected the winner of last week’s election by Wafula Chebukati, chair of Kenya’s Independent Elections and Boundary Commission (IEBC), on Monday – an announcement that was marred with allegations vote rigging and dissent among committee members about the melee race.

“The figures published by Mr. Chebukati are null and void and must be dealt with by the courts,” Odinga told a conference. “I would like to commend our supporters for keeping their composure and keeping the peace, and urge them to continue to do so, leaving no one to take the law into their own hands.”

“We are pursuing constitutional and legal channels and processes to rescind Mr. Chebukati’s illegal and unconstitutional claims,” ​​he added.

William Ruto claims victory in Kenyan presidential election

His statement raised the specter of violence between his supporters and winners, which has plagued elections in the past. So far, apart from the scattered protests, Kenya has remained silent on the outcome.

Odinga’s statement could echo Kenya’s 2017 election results as his campaign challenged incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the Supreme Court, which went on to claim the 2017 vote. illegal.

However, Kenyatta still won the re-election, after Odinga told his supporters not to vote on the grounds of distrust of the electoral authority. That period was marred by violent street protests and human rights abuses.

On Monday afternoon, while the country awaited the election results, one of Odinga’s top election officials, Saitabao Ole Kanchory said that they had reports that the voting system “was compromised and compromised. assault” and “several IEBC officials committed electoral crimes. “

Minutes before the results were announced, four of Kenya’s seven election commissioners said they would not side with the election results. In a press conference Tuesday, they said the results were announced by the chair before all trustees had a chance to consult on the statements and objections raised by the parties. .

The problem that we have is with the process,” commissioner Justus Nyang’aya said in a meeting shortly before Odinga’s press conference. “If that is not determined by the trustees it remains the duties, roles and responsibilities of only one person on the board.”

Monday’s announcement of victory for Ruto has his supporters celebrating across the country. In the town of Ngong, on the outskirts of Nairobi, drivers honked their horns and formed processions on the road as they celebrated. Meanwhile, in Ruto’s hometown of Sugoi, the people celebrate late into the night.

In the western Kenyan city of Kisumu, a pro-Odinga establishment, protesters burned tires in the streets, blocking the road with stones before police dispersed them.

Kenyans go to the polls in a heavily vetted and closely watched election

This was supposed to be Odinga’s last attempt at the presidency. This is the 77-year-old’s fifth attempt at the top job.

The country’s most severe electoral violence occurred with Odinga’s narrow 2007 loss to Mwai Kibaki – also amid allegations of vote rigging. Post-election violence left more than 1,000 people dead and more than 5,000 displaced.

In Kibera, a Nairobi slum that is considered Odinga’s stronghold, the days before that, the crowds that had gathered to watch the live broadcasts waiting for the results had now dispersed. “The announcement is disappointing, whatever Odinga says is what we will do, he is our leader. We trust his judgment for the road ahead,” said Job Owino, a supporter.

Mercy Wanjiru, 30, a resident of Mathare who was displaced during the 2007 post-election riots, said she was happy with Ruto’s victory and hoped that Odinga would make concessions to avoid a repeat of the violence. force.

“We have a country to build,” she said. “Now is the time to heal and move on.”

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