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Britain Expresses Concerns about Kenyan Election Results 


The British government has expressed concerns about irregularities reported by the European Union team that observed the disputed elections in Kenya. From London Tendai Maphosa has more.

The misgivings were contained in a statement issued by Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.

The pair described the elections in the former British colony as a "pivotal moment for Kenya" when the democratic process and election outcome had to be seen to be fair in the eyes of the Kenyan people. They congratulated Kenyan voters for conducting their vote in an orderly and dignified manner.

The statement then went on to say the British government has real concerns at the irregularities reported by the European Union observers and others. The EU observers said the Electoral Commission of Kenya had failed to ensure the credibility of the presidential vote.

Official results of the December 27 poll returned President Mwai Kibaki to power. The result has been rejected by challenger Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement. Odinga accuses the electoral commission of rigging the election to ensure a Kibaki victory.

Analyst Vincent Magombe of Africa Inform, a London-based media agency, says many people would like to see a more transparent vote count.

"Most of these people are trying to ask for a very simple thing; either Mwai Kibaki steps down and says, 'Let us continue counting the votes properly, let us look at those areas of concern and allegations and then tally up and see who has won'. That is one possibility, the other is to call the ODM people and sit down and say Kenya is our country let us all now discuss what is best, let us all find a way forward," said Magombe.

Magombe says the British government and the European Union should not recognize the disputed election result.

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