Uhuru Kenyatta wins controversial Kenyan poll rerun

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has been re-elected in a presidential poll rerun that was marred by violence and a boycott by the main opposition coalition, electoral officials said.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday said Kenyatta won 98.2 percent of the votes cast in the October 26 election, according to results from 265 out of 290 constituencies, plus ballots from the diaspora.

Raila Odinga, leader of the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition alliance, received 0.9 percent of the votes, according to to the IEBC. There were other six other candidates who received the rest of the vote.

In a victory speech after the IEBC’s announcement, Kenyatta said the result was a “re-validation” of the voters’ will following the annulment of the August 8 poll.

“This was nothing more than … a statement of their national intent,” he said.

“The people of Kenya have decided, the IEBC have made their announcement as to the verdict in a free and fair democratic election,” added the 55-year-old president.

Odinga is expected to deliver a speech on Tuesday.

Low turnout

The election was marked by a low turnout with many voters not showing up to cast their ballots.

According to the IEBC, 38.84 percent of the registered voters turned up to cast their ballot – that is 7.6 million of the 19.6 million registered voters.

Kenyatta wins election rerun, but violence continues in Kenya

The poll was not held in 25 constituencies across four counties – Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori – following a boycott call by NASA saying that the election would not be free and fair.

The electoral body postponed the rerun election in the opposition strongholds because of “security challenges” following violent protests that left at least eight people dead and 30 others wounded.

Earlier on Monday, the IEBC had said the boycott in the four counties did not have an impact on the poll.

“The results of the election shall not be affected by voting in the electoral areas where the election was postponed,” Consolata Nkatha, deputy chairperson of the IEBC, said.

Voters’ ‘fatigue’

The East African country held the presidential poll rerun after the Supreme Court annulled the result of an August 8 poll following a challenge by the opposition.

Kenyatta, leader of the ruling Jubilee alliance, had been declared the winner of that election. Odinga, his closest challenger in the annulled vote, withdrew from the October 26 rerun, saying that opposition demands for reforms at the electoral body had not been met.

In the August polls, more than 15 million people cast their vote for the top two candidates – Kenyatta and Odinga – alone.

Analysts said the low turnout at the rerun was expected following court battles and heated political rallies leading up to the polls.

“The country is deeply divided and the boycott call by the opposition led to this very low turnout,” James Gondi, a Nairobi-based political analyst, told Al Jazeera.

“Even in Jubilee areas, turnout was lower than in August election because of fatigue,” Gondi said.

“In Kenya people vote against somebody and with Odinga not in the race, many people had no one to vote against and decided not to come to the polling station,” Gondi said.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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