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EU says no evidence of rigging in Kenyan election
October 5, 2017, 5:14 pm
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Observers from the European Union (EU) say that though they found some technical problems, there was no evidence of vote-rigging in last month’s Kenya’s presidential election.

The Kenyan Supreme Court had also cited technical irregularities when it annulled the presidential election and ordered a re-run of the contest between incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his challenger Raila Odinga on 17 October.

In a statement the EU said it had examined 1,558 randomly selected scanned polling station results forms from 82 constituencies, out of a total of 41,000 polling stations and 290 constituencies. The statement added that a small percentage of the forms were unreadable, others had mathematical mistakes, and others were missing data or signatures, but none of these were indication of a deliberate manipulation of the votes.

The opposition National Super Alliance led by presidential contest loser Raila Odinga, had alleged that the elections were marred by fraud and is threatening to boycott the re-run unless some demands are met, including the resignation of key officials from the Kenyan electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The EU observers admitted that a quarter of polling stations were severely late in posting their manually completed tallying sheets online. In some cases they only did so after the legal deadline for the opposition to mount court challenges to the results had passed. But again these were IT-related technical challenges that needed to be overcome before the upcoming polls.

For its part, the IEBC has expressed reservations about being able to comply with the 17 October deadline set for election, as the technology used to identify voters and transmit results needed to be upgraded to ensure a credible re-run process.

Meanwhile, Kenya lowered its 2017 economic growth forecast to 5.5 percent due to drought and investor hesitance because of the ongoing political uncertainty, as well as the demand by the IEBC for an un-budgeted additional 12 billion Kenyan shillings ($116 million) for the presidential re-run.

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