Uhuru wins count, battle shifts to court

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President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta waves to supporters as he leaves the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi after receiving the certificate of winning the election on March 9, 2013. Photo/BILLY MUTAI

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta waves to supporters as he leaves the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi after receiving the certificate of winning the election on March 9, 2013. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  Nation Media Group

By JOINT REPORT The EastAfrican

Posted  Saturday, March 9   2013 at  20:18

In Summary

  • Kenyatta won the presidency after he achieved the constitutional requirement of more than 50 per cent of the vote by getting 50.07 per cent (4,100 votes above the 50 per cent mark).
  • Odinga announced he would challenge the result in the Supreme Court, citing irregularities in the electoral process.
  • Civil society groups, through the African Centre for Open Governance, (Africog) also indicated they would move to court in the course of the week to challenge the result.
  • Besides the legal hurdles in Kenya, Mr Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto are facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague over their suspected role in the 2007/8 post-election violence.

As the final results came in, the focus was shifting to how the two coalitions would battle it out in the legislature as they shared out seats in the Senate and parliament.

CORD seemed set to dominate the Senate, having bagged 23 out the 47 seats, against Jubilee’s 19. The Amani coalition, led by Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, who emerged third in the poll, got four Senate seats while Alliance Party of Kenya, friendly to Jubilee, bagged two.

The Senate will protect the interests of the counties, carry out legislation relating to the counties and can impeach the president and deputy president if need be.

In Parliament, Jubilee secured more MPs than Cord. Of the 291 MPs, Jubilee bagged 159 MPs compared with Cord’s 139.

The Jubilee coalition will also control most of the counties, having won 21 governors’ seats, while Cord got 20 governors out of the 47 counties. The remaining seven are shared among other independent parties.

Technology challenges also appeared to undermine the credibility of the Kenyan general election. During voting on Monday, the electronic voter identification kit procured late last year to identify voters failed, forcing the IEBC to switch to manual identification — a system that was castigated during the 2007 election, which was marred by rigging claims.

The challenges did not end there.

The electoral body was initially supposed to transmit results from the polling centres electronically to its tallying centre in Nairobi, from where they would be broadcast throughout the country.

Afterwards, polling heads from the country’s 290 constituencies would physically take the hard copies of the results to the national tallying centre.

The IEBC had to verify the results sent electronically before announcing the final results to the public. All this was expected to be done within a maximum of 48 hours after the polls closed, even though the law grants the poll body seven days after the voting day to announce the results.

But the electronic system failed, forcing the electoral body to adopt the manual tallying system.

According to the IEBC chairman, the fault was due to a programming error, which he said resulted from a conflict between the IEBC server and the database, resulting in the system multiplying the number of rejected votes by eight. At some point, with total votes counted at 5.6 million, the number of rejected presidential votes was at 338,592.

After switching to the manual system, the number of rejected votes fell dramatically.

Africog, in its application, said that in some centres the number of votes counted exceeded the number of registered voters, that the vote counting process was not transparent and that it violated Article 82 of the Election Regulations because the results were not transmitted electronically.

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