Friday, 15 December, 2017

Kenyan bonds rally after peaceful election, lead for incumbent

NAIROBI Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga gestures to thousands of supporters gathered in the Mathare area. — AP NAIROBI Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga gestures to thousands of supporters gathered in the Mathare area. — AP
Bennie Garza | 12 August, 2017, 22:56

Celebrations broke out in pockets of Kenya on Thursday after the opposition said its candidate Raila Odinga should be declared victor of the presidential vote, a claim an election commission official said was "ridiculous".

The chairman of IEBC Mr Wafula Chebukati is expected to address the country later on in the day.

The electoral commission chief has also confirmed that there was an attempt to hack the system after the vote, but he said that the attempt failed.

Peaceful elections in East Africa's largest economy would help provide stability to the region. Police fired on demonstrators in Kawangware, a poor area of the capital, according to an Associated Press photographer.

Between 28 December, 2007, and 28 February, 2008, at least 1,000 people died and 600,000 were displaced from their homes, after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the victor and Odinga rejected the polls as rigged.

Odinga's complaints of election irregularities have stoked fears of aggrieved supporters taking to the streets in a scenario reminiscent of violence that erupted in the aftermath of the December 2007 election. His deputy Kalonzo Musyoka struck a similar tone and said the opposition might call for unspecified "action" at a later date.

All eyes will now turn to Odinga, and his reaction to the loss which he claimed was a result of massive rigging of Tuesday's election, which his party denounced as a "charade" and a "disaster".

Mudavadi said Odinga had won slightly more than 8 million votes, compared with 7.1 million for Kenyatta.

A group of men said they were eager for daily life to return and could not afford the consequences of violence in their city, which saw some of the worst clashes a decade ago.

Meanwhile the AU election mission headed by Mbeki also noted some minor errors and discrepancies but concluded that "the processes we were able to observe, up to and including the counting of the votes at the polling stations and their transmission to the IEBC, met the standards set by Kenya and the AU for the conduct of democratic elections".

Provisional results have shown the 55-year-old Uhuru Kenyatta, vying for a second and final five-year term, with a 1.4 million vote lead at 54.23 percent. He witnessed demonstrators chanting "No Raila, no peace", - the rallying cry for Odinga supporters during the 2007 violence - and throwing rocks at police, .

"If anything was electronically fiddled with, there is a way to go back and absolutely ascertain what happened in the polling station". These are then scanned and sent to the election board for posting online, a measure created to combat rigging.

The statement comes as Kenyans who massively turned out for the general elections are anxiously awaiting final results of a hotly contested election whose final presidential results may be announced on Friday.

Of 112 polling stations sampled by Reuters from across the country, two thirds had a match between the electronic and paper results.

Over 400 worldwide election observers - including officials from the United States and the European Union - were deployed across the country to monitor voting, the tallying process and part of the post-election period.

At the same time, Nasa claimed that its own tallying system gave Mr Odinga the lead, contrary to the IEBC numbers that had President Kenyatta well ahead.

Odinga took his challenge to court in 2013 and lost. One must win more than 50 percent of the votes that were cast Tuesday to avoid a runoff election. The yield on the nation's Eurobonds and the shilling were little changed early today. "His initial rhetoric suggests there is a risk he does not".

We can still wait to see if Nasa will be vindicated once the final results are released, probably in the next few hours.

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