Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta Wins the Controversial Presidential Election Rerun

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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, IEBC on Monday declared the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ,the winner of the presidential election rerun held on 26th of October. Kenyatta garnered 98% of the total votes cast.

Fears that violence would break out in the opposition’s strongholds engulfed the whole nation following Raila Odinga’s decision to boycott the exercise.

However, the low turnout of voters has raised questions about the credibility of the election. Raila Odinga claims that the low turnout is a clear indication that he has the vast following than Uhuru Kenyatta. The recent crisis surrounding the Kenyan politics has seen the country’s democracy go down to its knees.

Uhuru Kenyatta garnered a total of 7,483,895 votes while Raila got 73,223 – equivalent to less than 1% of the total votes cast, according to Wafula Chebukati, IEBC chairman, a clear sign that boycott was effective.

The announcement marks the finishing line of two months of political chaos and drama after Justice David Maraga nullified Kenyatta’s August 8 victory. Justice Maraga said that it was highly evident that the first election had some irregularities and poor management by the IEBC.

The opposition believed that following the murder of an IEBC official shortly before the August 8 election, unauthorized persons managed to login into IEBC servers and manipulated the presidential results, probably using the slain official’s login details.

IEBC has also witnessed a series of unfavorable events with one of their officials resigning and fleeing the country claiming that the electoral body had some serious issues. Wafula Chebukati himself confirmed the Claims right before the 26th October election; he said that he wasn’t sure that he could deliver a free and credible poll due to IEBC internal divisions.

Before the announcement of the election results, security officers were deployed in the primary opposition’s strongholds including Nairobi Mathare area, Kisumu city, and the coastal town of Mombasa. However, despite the beefed up security, demonstrators still got to burn tires in Nairobi Kibera area shortly after Chebukati released the results.

Raila Odinga requested his supporters to stay indoors during the October 26th election exercise. But in the west, opposition supporters closed the polling station and refused to let the activity to continue.

The opposition leader refused to take part in the elections claiming that the same body that compromised the first vote was the same team charged with the responsibility to manage the rerun. He wanted some critical reforms to take place so that he could agree to participate.

There had been plans by the IEBC to stage the rerun in areas like Nyanza where voting didn’t take place, but due to the safety of their officials, IEBC cancelled the plans.