Saturday March 9, 2013
Kenya's Odinga to contest vote result, appeals for peace
NAIROBI: Raila Odinga, beaten by Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya's presidential election, said Saturday his party would contest the results in court, alleging "massive tampering" of the March 4 vote.
But the outgoing prime minister also called for all Kenyans to respect the rule of law and to look upon each other as brothers and sisters.
"Any violence now could destroy the country forever, and that would not serve anyone's interests," Odinga said.
Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding president and one of Africa's richest men who faces an international crimes against humanity trial, narrowly got enough votes to avoid a second round runoff against Odinga.
Odinga's charges on Saturday echo accusations in 2007 presidential polls when he alleged he was robbed of victory, with disputed results triggering bloody ethnic violence in which more than 1,100 people were killed.
"We have highlighted so many irregularities in the tallying process," Odinga told reporters, shortly after the official release of final results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Kenyatta took 50.07 percent of the vote, according to IEBC figures, scraping by the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a second round by around 8,400 votes, but beating Odinga by more than 800,000 votes.
"We will therefore shortly move to the court to challenge the outcomes that the IEBC announced," Odinga said.
"Let the Supreme Court determine whether the result announced by the IEBC is the lawful one", adding that he had "faith in the judiciary and the ruling will be respected."
Kenyatta received 6,173,433 votes out of a total 12,330,028 ballots cast, while Odinga got 43.31 percent. -AFP
Uhuru Kenyatta elected Kenyan president