Kenya's Kenyatta wins re-election, pledges to unite nation

Kenya's Kenyatta wins re-election, pledges to unite nation

Mr. Kenyatta, 55, was re-elected with just over 54 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, easily surpassing the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, according to an announcement from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Almost 20 million Kenyans registered to vote in the country, which has a population of about 48 million.

The specter of widespread violence now looms large over the East African nation, where at least 1,100 people died in the wake of a disputed 2007 vote that Odinga lost to Mwai Kibaki.

Kenyatta extended an olive branch to opposition leaders and their supporters, saying he was ready to engage with them in dialogue to solve challenges facing the country.

Odinga, a polarising figure who is adored by his supporters, also ran and lost in 2013, and took his complaints about the widespread failure of electronic voting equipment to court. "To our brothers, our worthy competitors, we are not enemies, we are all citizens of the same republic", he said. As recently as Thursday, Odinga's campaign manager, Musalia Mudavadi, declared victory for his candidate, saying that "a serious attempt to try to either doctor or alter the final results" had fraudulently swung the balance of the election.

James Orengo, another senior NASA official, called the election process a "charade" and a "disaster". If granted, it said it would accept the results, even if they showed that Kenyatta won. "We are hoping there will be a conclusion to this today and for people to be able to go back and start earning their livelihoods because this era of suspense is very, very devastating economically".

Other foreign observer missions from the European Union, Commonwealth, and the Carter Center urged party leaders to refrain from inflaming tensions. "And the election is not about announcing winners and losers", he said.

IEBC responded by stating that the results on their portal were provisional and the final tally would be released after validating forms 34A and 34B.

But the opposition insisted it was in possession of alternative results, showing Odinga in the lead.

Chebukati, the electoral commission chairman, said a hacking attempt had failed to manipulate the outcome of the vote.

Police had beefed up security across much of Kenya - particularly in opposition strongholds in the west and parts of Nairobi - in anticipation of the announcement of the election result on Friday. The Luo are one of the major ethnic groups in Kenya, but a Luo has never been president of Kenya, and many members of the tribe attribute their socioeconomic troubles to their group's political exclusion. A restriction organization together's sponsorship for Mr Odinga was insufficient to stop Mr Kenyatta's re-decision.

Another lovely addition was that about five million young Kenyans voted for the first time, and added a new dimension to politics in the country.

"Violence must never be an option", Godec says.

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