Kenya's opposition party claim election results rigged and demand Raila Odinga be made president

Kenya's opposition party claim election results rigged and demand Raila Odinga be made presidentKenya’s disputed election was thrown into further turmoil on Thursday after the losing opposition said the result had been faked and demanded its leader be handed the presidency.  Amid mounting anxiety in a country haunted by its history of post-election violence, Raila Odinga’s opposition coalition accused the body responsible for conducting the poll of deliberately denying its leader the presidency. Widening an alleged conspiracy to hand re-election to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the opposition said that a “whistleblower” at the electoral commission had disclosed the existence of a hidden database showing that Mr Odinga had beaten his rival by 250,000 votes.  Map: Kenya counties “We demand that the IEBC chairperson announce the presidential election results forthwith and declare Raila Amolo Odinga… as the duly elected president,” Musalia Mudavadi, one of the opposition coalition’s leaders, told a press conference. Provisional results released by the commission, known as the IEBC, on its website indicated that Mr Kenyatta had a lead of more than 1.4m votes — or nearly 10 per cent — after nearly all ballots had been tallied. President Uhuru Kenyatta celebrates during a campaign rally in Nairobi Credit: EPA The new allegations, which leave the country in an increasingly perilous and uncertain position, come a day after Mr Odinga rejected the result, claiming that IEBC computer servers had been hacked to alter the result.  Although that allegation was roundly ridiculed, the IEBC’s chairman, Wafula Chebukati, admitted that an attempt to hack the database had been made, but insisted that it had been detected and thwarted. Supporters of Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga wave as he departs in a helicopter after addressing a rally  Credit: AFP Mr Odinga’s refusal to concede sparked fury among his supporters, many of whom seem convinced that their candidate has again be rigged out of victory. His defeat in an election ten years ago triggered the worst violence in independent Kenya’s 54-year history, killing more than 1,300 people and forcing 600,000 more to flee their homes. Small-scale protests erupted in the slums of Nairobi and elsewhere in the country and police shot dead at least two protesters they accused of looting. Most opposition supporters have so far heeded calls from their leaders to remain calm until an official declaration of the winner is made.  But now that Mr Odinga has not just rejected the result but also claimed victory, the prospect of an angry backlash by his supporters seem much higher if President Kenyatta is formally given a second and final five-year term.  An official declaration is expected on Friday. Kenya's electoral commission denied the allegations, with one official telling Reuters that the opposition did not have "any credible data" on the results.  A supporter wears a cloth wrap showing Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, with writing in Swahili reading "President Uhuru, Five More" referring to the wish for another 5-year term Credit: AP Mr Odinga has long nursed a sense of grievance after being on the losing side of three questionable elections. In 2007, many analysts believe he was cheated out of victory by the president’s predecessor, Mwai Kibaki. Five years ago, he was also denied the chance of a run-off after Mr Kenyatta secured a first round victory by a margin narrow enough to raise suspicions. But there is much greater scepticism about Mr Odinga’s claims this time round amid suggestions they smack of desperation. Foreign observers appeared to dismiss the credibility of opposition allegations of a hacking attack, with John Kerry, the former US secretary of state, saying he had seen nothing to make him question the poll’s integrity. Mr Kerry pointedly referred to his own defeat in the 2004 American presidential election, while Marietje Schaake, leading the European Union’s observer mission was even blunter. Supporters of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Alliance Credit: AP “Candidates and their supporters must accept that not winning is a natural part of a democratic competition,” she said. While the IEBC has been praised for its conduct of the election, questions are now being raised why the commission, in apparent contravention of a court order, published results that had no supporting documentation. Returning officers in a quarter of polling stations failed to send scanned copies of handwritten forms, signed by agents for both candidates, alongside results transmitted electronically to the central tallying centre. Although the IEBC is now uploading the missing forms to its website the opposition says the late forms themselves could since have been doctored.

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