Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Kenyan Presidential Candidate Alleges Vote-Rigging

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Kenyan Presidential Candidate Alleges Vote-Rigging

Article excerpt

Tensions over the counting of votes in Kenya's presidential election continued to rise Thursday as Prime Minister Raila Odinga's camp alleged that results from the Monday polls were being rigged.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr. Odingas running mate in the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), issued the allegations, contending that the emerging vote tally from a recount that began Wednesday is not accurate.

"We have evidence the results we're receiving are being doctored, Mr. Musyoka told a news conference in Nairobi on Thursday. In several counties, he says, the number of votes cast appears to be higher than the number of registered voters.

The comments come a day after Odinga's rival, Uhuru Kenyatta, charged that British High Commission was meddling in vote-counting efforts. Mr. Kenyatta currently leads the race, with 52.5 percent of votes to Odinga's 42.9 percent. 141 of 290 constituencies have been tallied so far in a hand recount that began after an electronic voting system failed Tuesday night.

Full results are expected Friday and a candidate needs an absolute majority to be elected. If no one receives one, the leading contenders will go to a runoff election next month.

But Mr. Musyoka said the CORD coalition was taking the position that the national vote-tallying process lacked integrity and had to be restarted using primary documents from the polling stations. They called on the electoral commission to immediately stop the current tallying.

The commission, however, says the charges are unfounded.

"It is not true," said Isaack Hassan, chairman of the electoral commission, at a news conference. "We cannot stop tallying because this is a legal process."

Although Odinga's coalition is calling for calm, tolerance, and peace among Kenyans, the remarks about possible vote fraud have re- ignited the memories of the bungled 2007 general election, when Kenyan poured on streets after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner and Odinga also a candidate in that contest said the election had been rigged. …

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