NAIROBI – Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term as president of Kenya in this week’s election, the electoral commission said on Friday amid opposition claims of fraud.
With 54.27 percent of the vote, Kenyatta prevailed over perennial opposition standard-bearer Raila Odinga, who garnered 44.74 of the ballots cast on Tuesday, the commission said.
The announcement of the final tally was delayed by seven hours and took place without the presence of representatives of the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition, who boycotted the presentation after signaling that it would not accept the results.
Turnout was 78.91 percent, down from nearly 85 percent in 2013, electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati said, describing the process as “credible, fair and peaceful.”
NASA, however, says that data provided by an anonymous source inside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) shows Odinga won with 50.13 of the vote.
The anonymous source told NASA that the electronic voting system had been tampered with to ensure victory for Kenyatta, an accusation denied by IEBC.
All of the international election observer missions who monitored the balloting agreed that the process was transparent.
Talking to reporters ahead of the proclamation of Kenyatta as president-elect, NASA spokesman James Orengo said that the opposition would not pursue legal remedies.
“Court is not an alternative. We have been there before,” he said.
Kenya’s Supreme Court rejected the challenge Odinga brought after he lost the 2013 election to Kenyatta.
Police were deployed on Friday to opposition strongholds across Kenya in anticipation of protests following the proclamation of Kenyatta’s victory and trouble broke out within minutes of the IEBC announcement.
“People are demonstrating in the street. Some places are burning, there are many shots,” a woman identifying herself only as Gladys told EFE by telephone from Kibera, a large shantytown on the outskirts of Nairobi.
In Mathare, another capital district where Odinga has many supporters, police used tear gas and fired shots into the air to break up protests, area resident Don told EFE.
“There is looting, this is war,” Don said from Mathare, where police fatally shot two opposition protesters on Wednesday.
Violent clashes between police and demonstrators were also reported in the western city of Kisumu.
Odinga cried foul in 2007 following his defeat to then-incumbent Mwai Kibaki. Violent opposition protests and reprisals by security forces sparked ethnic violence that led to roughly 1,200 deaths.
Kenyatta sounded a conciliatory note in his acceptance speech following the announcement of the results.
“As I said to my worthy opponents, especially my brother, the Right Honorable Raila Odinga, I reach out to you; I reach out to all your supporters,” Kenyatta said.
“We shall work together, we shall partner together, we shall grow together, we shall develop this nation together. We are there, ready to dialogue, to discourse and engage so that we can build this nation together,” the president-elect said.
Kenyatta also made an appeal for calm.
“I take this opportunity once again to call upon all Kenyans to exercise the same peace and tranquility we have seen before and during these elections. Your neighbor will always be your neighbor and we cannot fight over an election,” he said.