NAIROBI – Kenyan veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday rejected presidential election results announced by the chairman of the electoral body on Monday where his main competitor in the race, the sitting Deputy President, William Ruto was declared the winner.
The 77-year-old Odinga who was running for the presidency for the fifth time under the Azimio La Umoja (Resolution for Unity)-One Kenya Coalition said he had no faith in the outcomes of the hotly contested polls held on August 9.
He said at a briefing in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) violated the constitution, and failed to adhere to the spirit of consensus when it declared Ruto the winner of the presidential race.
In particular, Odinga faulted IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati for making unilateral decisions regarding the announcement of the presidential election winner.
He added that Chebukati and a minority of commissioners went against the electoral laws and laid down procedures to declare Ruto the fifth president-elect.
“In our view, there is neither a legally and validly declared winner nor a President-Elect,” said Odinga, adding that his political formation will be pursuing constitutional and legal means to ensure the presidential election results are overturned.
The declaration of 55-year-old Ruto as the winner of Kenya’s presidential elections after garnering about 7.17 million or 50.49 percent of legitimate votes cast was celebrated in his strongholds but triggered an outcry among Odinga’s supporters in western Kenya and Nairobi.
Ruto, who spoke soon after receiving a certificate on Monday evening to confirm his victory pledged to extend a hand of friendship to political rivals, unite the country and advance shared growth and prosperity.
Sporadic protests erupted on Monday night in the western Kenyan city of Kisumu, Nairobi’s informal settlements of Kibera and Mathare that are considered Odinga’s strongholds though relative calm has returned, according to local media reports.
Odinga trailed second after Ruto in the presidential race that attracted four candidates by garnering about 6.94 million or 48.85 percent of votes, according to IEBC tally.
Four out of seven electoral agency commissioners who had earlier disowned presidential results announced by Chairman Wafula Chebukati insisted that the process was marred by opaqueness.
The four commissioners told journalists in Nairobi that the results announced by Chebukati were inaccurate and a misrepresentation of the official tally.
The commissioners said the aggregation of presidential results for the four candidates was inflated by a figure they said could tilt the election outcomes.
The commissioners added that the Chairman of the electoral body failed to indicate the total number of registered voters, the total number of votes cast or rejected in violation of the law.
According to the commissioners, the Chairman violated the electoral laws when he announced presidential election results when verification and tallying in some constituencies had not been completed.