Official results from Kenya’s tightly contested presidential election are expected within hours following growing tensions between supporters of the two leading candidates.
The wait for the official announcement drags on as the electoral commission continues to certify the remaining votes.
Throughout the verification process that began Wednesday, there have been accusations of vote rigging and of electoral officials tampering with results, especially from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s camp against the main challenger, Deputy President William Ruto.
Preliminary results show Ruto leading by a small margin as the results continue to trickle in.
Speaking to journalists Sunday, Gladwell Otieno of the Angaza Movement, a consortium of civic and human rights organizations pushing for electoral integrity and accountability, urged the electoral commission to address the allegations of vote rigging.
“We demand a full accounting from the IEBC of the extent of involvement of officers in electoral offenses and the steps taken against offending staff,” Otieno said. “We demand the full audit and disclosure from the IEBC of the extent of alteration to the election tallying results. We demand the Kenya police arrest any person involved in electoral fraud and fast-track investigations and those found culpable are convicted. It’s time we have accountability for continual electoral malpractice in this country.”
Kenya’s Supreme Court invalidated presidential election results in 2017 due to irregularities and illegalities in the process.
Kenya’s disputed election results have led to protests, killings and inter-communal fighting.
The commission reminded the competing sides that their work would be verifying presidential results and announcing the winner.
Tensions are rising across the country as officials close to Odinga and Ruto announce their own election results and claim victory.
At church services Sunday, Odinga and Ruto called for peace and urged Kenyans to wait for the IEBC call.
Kenya’s electoral commission has until Tuesday to announce the winner of last week’s election.