Rigged elections in Kenya?
Five days after the general election, Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance was declared the winner and president. According to official figures, Kenyatta got 50.07 per cent of the votes and thereby avoided a second round of voting. However, his closest competitor, Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD), has lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court on grounds of vote rigging.
− Fortunately, these elections were by and large free of violence. However, even preliminary observations suggest that this was a poorly organised and managed election. Not only did the tallying process experience major technical and administrative failures, there are also strong indications of quite a few irregularities and breaches of electoral laws, states NAI researcher Anders Sjögren.
In the wake of the widespread violence after the elections in 2007, a coalition government was installed. In practice, the Jubilee Alliance had a stronger grip on state power than the prime minister, Raila Odinga. Thus, there may have been opportunity enough for Jubilee Alliance to rig the election.
− All the surveys before election pointed to a second round of voting. What makes the outcome more suspicious is that all the other survey predictions proved accurate, notes Anders Sjögren.
Kenyatta and William Ruto of the Jubilee Alliance were on different sides during the violent conflict of 2007-08. Both have been charged by the International Crime Court (ICC) of crimes against humanity arising from their involvement in the violence.
− Most likely, the Kenyatta and Ruto partnership will crack sooner or later. Their supporters are from two ethnic groups that have something of a history of mutual conflict, which the coalition has yet to deal with, Anders Sjögren remarks.