Uhuru Kenyatta elected Kenyan president: commission figures
Uhuru Kenyatta was elected Kenya’s new president despite facing an international crimes against humanity trial, provisional election commission figures showed Saturday.
Kenyatta took 50.03 percent of the vote, according to constituency tallies released in the early hours of Saturday, to become the African country’s new leader 50 years after his independence hero father, Kenya’s founding president.
The 51-year-old outgoing deputy prime minister — charismatic, able to appeal to all classes and one of Africa’s richest men — is the first leader to take power whilst facing trial in The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).
Kenyatta, whose first name means “freedom” in Swahili, beat by over 800,000 votes his opponent Raila Odinga, the 68-year-old outgoing prime minister who was on his third failed bid at the top job.
But Kenyatta, who won 6,173,433 votes out of a total 12,338,667 ballots cast, scraped through the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a second-round run off by just over 4,000 votes.
Odinga trailed in second place with 43.28 percent with a total of 5,340,546 votes.
As Kenyatta’s supporters hugged and cheered in victory celebrations when the numbers were released, concerns were high as to how Odinga loyalists will react, five years on since a wave of bloodshed in which over 1,100 people were killed following disputed December 2007 elections.
Officials however have said they would follow only legal channels.
Anyang’ Nyong’o, secretary general of Odinga’s party, said before the announcement of results they would file a petition at the Supreme Court “because the process has been awful and there’s evidence to that effect”.
Asked whether he thought there had been systematic rigging in favour of one candidate he said: “I think so. There’s evidence to that effect.”
Formal announcement due later Saturday
A formal results announcement was expected later Saturday, but the figures were shown on an official election commission electronic scoreboard that compiled results from all 291 constituencies.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said in a statement late Friday it would complete an audit of the figures before making a “final declaration” at around 0800 GMT.
“The commission wants to make these announcements when everyone is fresh and the figures and the audit have been done well,” it said.
Odinga also ran for president in 2007 and has always insisted he was robbed of victory, which went to his main rival Mwai Kibaki, who was backed by Kenyatta.