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Kenya suffers divergent tallies as official results delayed

By Ngozi Egenuka
12 August 2022   |   4:48 am
Two days after polls closed in Kenya, citizens are yet to know who their next president will be. Following tabulations from private media sources, there are 14,071,200 votes.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga addresses the media at the Wiper Democratic Movement headquarters in Nairobi AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA

Two days after polls closed in Kenya, citizens are yet to know who their next president will be. Following tabulations from private media sources, there are 14,071,200 votes.

The current Deputy President, William Ruto, has 7,317,024 votes, which is 51.16 per cent, while Raila Odinga, has 6,754,176 votes, totaling 47.23 per cent. Others polled 230,226, which account for 1.61 per cent of votes.

As at yesterday, privately owned Nation Group had tallied results from four-fifth of polling stations and put Odinga ahead with 50.40 per cent and Ruto 48.92 per cent. Another, Citizen, gave Ruto 49.48 per cent of the vote and Odinga 49.12 per cent.

These results suggest Ruto is winning the elections. But the final result is yet to be announced. Chairman, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, however, urged people to be patient and not panic over different tallies released by media houses.

He said: “Each organisation is making calculations based on its own manual entry of data from more than 46,000 polling stations. But it is only the electoral commission that can declare the winner.

“The tallies by the media show that the two leading candidates, Odinga and Ruto, are neck and neck. There should be no panic about the differences we are seeing on the media screens. The results are from the same public portal; the approach (of each broadcaster) is different.”

He added that at the end of the day, the results should look “similar”. Commenting on the election, Head of Department, Politics and International Relations, Lead City University, Dr. Tunji Oseni, said there is no similar case in Nigeria that can be compared directly with what is happening in Kenya. But democracy is about the people and the strength of the number of people in your support.

“Democracy also can surprise. The surprising element of democracy is what we are seeing in Kenya. The candidate that is gaining upper hand is also an experienced grassroots politician, who has been in the game for a while.”

“So, when you have alignment and realignment of forces, and the people say this is where they want to go, there is nothing you can do about it.”

On his part, a professor of law and international jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode, said: “It seems fate may finally smile on Raila Odinga after previous attempts. With a fine political pedigree and tremendous clout among Kenya’s underclass, Odinga is set to become a man of history. There does not appear to be any comparison in Nigeria where everything seems to be unraveling.”

Odinga, who is 77, is making his fifth attempt at the presidency. Outgoing President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has reached his two-term limit and has endorsed Odinga, having fallen out with Ruto after the last election.

The winning candidate must get 50 per cent of the vote plus one to win and at least a quarter of votes in 24 out of Kenya’s 47 counties. If there is no outright winner, there will be a second round of voting.

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