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Odinga Coalition Calls for Kenya Vote Count to be Stopped

  • Gabe Joselow

Kalonzo Musyoka, center, Kenya's current Vice President and running mate of presidential candidate Raila Odinga, speaks at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Mar. 7, 2013.

Kalonzo Musyoka, center, Kenya's current Vice President and running mate of presidential candidate Raila Odinga, speaks at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Mar. 7, 2013.

In a new twist in Kenya’s vote-counting saga, the party of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a presidential candidate, says it has evidence of vote rigging and has called for the tally to be halted. Political parties are becoming anxious about the painstaking and slow counting of results.

Odinga’s running mate, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, told reporters in Nairobi Thursday the CORD coalition has “grave concerns” about the conduct of the election.

Among them, Musyoka said, are reports of cases where the total votes cast at a polling station exceeded the number of registered voters. He also said the coalition has evidence some ballots had been doctored.

He said the only course of action is to halt the tallying.

“Because of these concerns, we as a coalition stake the position that the national vote-tallying process lacks integrity, and has to be stopped and restarted using, as I said earlier, primary documents from the polling stations," said Musyoka.

Earlier this week, the electronic system used to send vote results from the constituencies to the tallying centers broke down.

Official representatives of the various political parties and electoral workers discuss while reviewing newly received results, at the National Tallying Center in Nairobi, Kenya, Mar. 6, 2013.

Official representatives of the various political parties and electoral workers discuss while reviewing newly received results, at the National Tallying Center in Nairobi, Kenya, Mar. 6, 2013.

Kenya's electoral commission decided to switch to a manual process, whereby reporting officers from the country’s 290 constituencies have to travel to Nairobi to present the results in person.

Now politicians are complaining about discrepancies between the initial results sent electronically and the results being read in the capital.

Musyoka said the party is considering legal action to stop the vote count, and urged supporters to remain calm.

“We must tell them, there will be no mass action. We are committed as a coalition to the principle of the rule of law. So this is very clear,” he said.

Odinga is trailing his main rival, Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee coalition, with less than half of all constituencies reporting.

Jubilee also has raised concerns about the vote counting process, particularly a decision to include rejected ballots in the total number of votes cast.

The electoral commission has said it hopes to announce the final results of the race on Friday.

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