NAIROBI. – Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga yesterday rejected the results of the election, saying that the figures announced on Monday were “null and void”.
According to the official results, Odinga narrowly lost to Deputy President William Ruto.
Odinga accused the head of the electoral body of a “blatant disregard of the constitution”.
“We totally without reservation reject the presidential election results,” he said.
Making his remarks in front of supporters in the capital, Nairobi, he said that there was “neither a legally elected winner nor a president-elect”.
The 77-year-old long-time opposition leader was running for president for the fifth time. He has challenged the results in the previous two elections, including successfully in 2017.
This time round, the chairman of the electoral body Wafula Chebukat said he got 48.8 percent of the vote in last Tuesday,s election compared to Mr Ruto’s 50.5 percent.
Odinga accused Chebukati of “gross impunity”, saying his team will pursue all legal options. He called his declaration “a major setback” to Kenya’s democracy that could trigger a political crisis.
He said that Chebukati went against the law by announcing the result without the backing of his fellow commissioners.
But an ally of Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, said that while the commissioners were required to collate the results, they could not determine the result.
This is a legal point that may in the end have to be tested in court.
Minutes before Odinga spoke, four of seven electoral commissioners who refused to approve Monday’s results, held a press conference to give their reasons.
They accused Chebukati of side-lining them and of announcing results that were full of “mathematic absurdity and defied logic”.
Juliana Cherera, the vice-chairperson of the commission, said that if the percentages announced by the chairperson of the commission are added, the sum came to 100,01 percent.
But this was down to a rounding error and is not suspicious.
Odinga has however commended the four commissioners for their “heroism”.
“The majority of (the electoral commission) – who stood up to the bullying and illegal conduct of Chebukati, we are proud of them and ask them not to fear anything. Kenyans are with them,” he said.
On Monday, Ruto described the objections of the commissioners as a “side-show”, but said he would respect a legal process.
He also called for unity, saying he wanted to be a president for all, and for the country to focus on the future. – Agencies