Why Raila has been abandoned at last minute

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Ordinarily, regional blocs would sanction a country whose elections or democratic processes have been bungled.

Unlike in what happened in the last toughly contested elections in The Gambia where hundreds of nations come to defend the opposition, the state is running in a different direction for Raila Odinga.

While it may be too early to declare the winner before the entire exercise comes to a close – even with a margin standing at 1.4 million votes as at 2pm on 10th – Kenya’s opposition leader seems to be abandoned by the world.

Dozens of groups who are in Kenya for election observation mission, including neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda, and South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, hold a glued opinion that the “Kenya’s Tuesday election was free and fair.”

Hacked system

On hacking claims, which were outrightly creating extreme tension, the polls team moved with speed to calm the situation by insisting that the system is sound, sentiments the former US secretary of State John Kerry holds dear.

Earlier, NASA chief Raila Odinga, in a first media briefing after polls were cast, alleged that the IEBC system was hacked and results manipulated. Raila has since remained adamant on the issue, demanding a thorough audit of the system.

At 3.30pm on Thursday, provisional results showed President Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 8,096,122 votes (54.27 per cent) while Raila had 6,695, 221 votes (44.84 per cent).

The East African community observers said the electoral agency has done a good job.

Edward Rugumayo, head of the EAC observer mission to Kenya, addressed a press conference on Thursday. He reiterated IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati’s call for the public to peacefully await the official announcement.

The team also asked the media not to speculate, noting what journalists say can easily be misinterpreted.

The head of the European Union’s election observer mission in Kenya also said on Thursday that it had seen no signs of “centralised or localized manipulation” of the voting process.

Marietje Schaake said that mission’s final report would evaluate the conduct of the tallying process.

The team will remain in the country until the IEBC makes final announcements and make recommendations.

“The EU is committed to supporting the implementation of recommendations for improved future elections in line with national legislation and international commitments related to political participation,” read a statement.

The observers made key recommendations including an immediate legislative reform entailing stakeholder participation.

“A thorough review of technology used [should] be undertaken, with consideration of alternative means of providing for electoral integrity,” read the statement.

“Any further use of technology be planned more in advance to allow for public consultation, field and security testing as well as training.”

Lack backing

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the Carter Centre observer delegation, believes the IEBC has managed the election well.

In an address at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kerry also said they are impressed by judicial efforts to resolve conflicts and disputes.

He called for peace and patience as the forms are scrutinised by National Super Alliance and Jubilee Party teams.

On August 6, ahead of the observation duty, the official said: “We are here to support confidence in all the institutions. It is up to Kenyans to make a choice and this can only be achieved in a free, fair and transparent election process.”

Other observers were sent by organisations including COMESA, African Union, European Union and the National Democratic Institute.

They have been giving their views on various aspects of the election process and the hacking claims, saying they must be investigated if they are serious.

Ordinarily, regional blocs would sanction a country whose elections or democratic processes have been bungled.




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