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Confusion in Kenya as Ruto Declared Winner of Presidential Vote Despite Unclear Tally


Demonstrators protest following the announcement of the results of Kenya's presidential election, in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 15, 2022.

Kenya’s elections chief has named Deputy President William Ruto the winner of a tight presidential election – but four other election officials have disowned the result, casting doubt and confusion over the outcome.

The chairman of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said Monday that Ruto won a first-round victory with 50.49% of the vote, about 1.5 percentage points ahead of former prime minister Raila Odinga.

But minutes before Wafula Chebukati announced the result, electoral commission vice chair Juliana Cherea said she and three other commissioners “are not able to take ownership of the results.”

The commissioners said the vote-counting process was “too opaque,” without providing details.

Members of opposition engage in a scuffle with the security officials as they block the IEBC chairman from making election result announcement at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug.15, 2022.
Members of opposition engage in a scuffle with the security officials as they block the IEBC chairman from making election result announcement at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug.15, 2022.

The Associated Press reports that a spokesman for Ruto’s main opponent, Raila Odinga, rejected the electoral commission chair’s announcement of Ruto as the winner.

“ANY results IEBC Chairman Wafuka Chebukati announces are INVALID because he had no quorum of commissioners to hold a plenary and make such a weighty decision. The ongoing process at Bomas is now ILLEGAL,” Odinga spokesman Makau Mutua tweeted.

Throughout the verification process that began Wednesday, there have been accusations of vote rigging and of electoral officials tampering with results, especially from Odinga’s camp against Ruto.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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