Defeated Kenyan leader to challenge poll verdict

Defeated Kenyan leader to challenge poll verdict

Kenya’s outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga, defeated in last week’s presidential polls by Uhuru Kenyatta, was preparing his Supreme Court appeal alleging fraud, officials said on Monday.

The March 4 general elections — for the presidency, regional governors, senators, members of parliament as well as local councillors — were marred by allegations of vote rigging.

Defeated candidates have also raised concerns about the widespread failure of an electronic voter registration system — designed to limit fraud — as well as of the electronic transmission of results, which forced a manual tallying process.

Odinga is expected to request a “forensic audit of manual and electronic data”, including investigations into the alleged “drastic reduction and rise” of votes in some constituencies after the official register was closed, a close aide to Odinga said.

While many were concerned at the risk of renewed violence ahead of the election, no major incidents have been reported in recent days.

Kenyatta, who avoided a second round run-off vote by the slimmest of margins to win a majority with just 50.07 per cent, beat Odinga — his closest rival — by more than 800,000 votes.

Odinga, who won 43.31 per cent in the March 4 poll in his third failed attempt at the top job, has said he will respect the decision of the Supreme Court even if it rules against him. He has also called for his supporters to allow the legal process to run its course.