Kenyatta wins disputed poll re-run with more than 98% of the vote

Uhuru Kenyatta won Kenya’s deeply divisive presidential election re-run after winning 98.2 percent of the votes cast, the official results showed Monday.

In Thursday’s protest-hit election, Kenyatta won 7 483 895 votes in comparison to 73 228 for his closest rival Raila Odinga, who had boycotted the vote. Turnout was just 38.84% according to AFP. 

The overwhelming vote in favour of Kenyatta was expected after opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the race in early October. Odinga called on his supporters to boycott the election, accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of stymieing meaningful reforms that would have ensured they didn’t repeat some of the “irregularities and illegalities” committed during the August 8 election. In a first for the continent, those irregularities led Kenya’s supreme court to nullify the results of the presidential election on September 1.

Elections were also indefinitely cancelled in four counties aligned with Odinga, where officials couldn’t open polling stations. Voter turnout was low across the country, given that more than 80% of the registered 19.6-million voters participated in the August election. 

The IEBC was again criticised for the way it tallied and verified the results. On Sunday, the organisation announced 7.5-million people had so far voted, and provided a voter turnout of 42.8%—instead of 38.4%. At one point, commissioner Abdi Guliye announced results had come in from some of the constituencies where elections hadn’t even take place.

If no petition is filed against the results of this election, a swearing-in ceremony for Kenyatta is expected to take place 14 days after the declaration as per Kenya’s constitution. Government authorities and supporters of Kenyatta have been calling for the president to be immediately sworn in as delays could lead to instability. 

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