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September 19, 2017

Kenya election was fair, no sign of manipulation - EAC, EU observers

An election clerk in Mombasa organises polling material a day ahead of the general election, August 7, 2017. /REUTERS
An election clerk in Mombasa organises polling material a day ahead of the general election, August 7, 2017. /REUTERS

Kenya's Tuesday election was free and fair, EAC observers have said, adding they are satisfied with IEBC's explanation on the Opposition's hacking claims.

NASA chief Raila Odinga alleged the IEBC system was hacked and results manipulated. He has refused to concede defeat.

At 11.55am on Thursday, provisional results showed President Uhuru Kenyatta was ahead by 8,056,578 votes (54.27 per cent) while Raila had 6,656,613 votes (44.84 per cent).

The East African community team said the electoral agency has done a good job.

Edward Rugumayo, head of the EAC observer mission to Kenya, addressed a press conference on Thursday. He reiterated IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati's call for the public to peacefully await the official announcement.

The team also asked the media not to speculate, noting what journalists say can easily be misinterpreted.

The head of the European Union's election observer mission in Kenya also said on Thursday that it had seen no signs of "centralised or localised manipulation" of the voting process.

Marietje Schaake said that mission's final report would evaluate the conduct of the tallying process.

The team will remain in the country until the IEBC makes final announcements and make recommendations.

"The EU is committed to supporting the implementation of recommendations for improved future elections in line with national legislation and international commitments related to political participation," read a statement.

The observers made key recommendations including an immediate legislative reform entailing stakeholder participation.

"A thorough review of technology used [should] be undertaken, with consideration of alternative means of providing for electoral integrity," read the statement.

"Any further use of technology be planned more in advance to allow for public consultation, field and security testing as well as training."

The team also advised the two-thirds gender rule, saying Parliament must address a mechanism for achieving this.

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the Carter Centre observer delegation, believes the IEBC has managed the election well.

In an address at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kerry also said they are impressed by judicial efforts to resolve conflicts and disputes.

He called for peace and patience as the forms are scrutinised by National Super Alliance and Jubilee Party teams.

On August 6, ahead of the observation duty, the official said: “We are here to support confidence in all the institutions. It is up to Kenyans to make a choice and this can only be achieved in a free, fair and transparent election process."

Read: International community want smooth end to vote tallying impasse - John Kerry

Other observers were sent by organisations including COMESA, African Union, European Union and the National Democratic Institute.

They have been giving their views on various aspects of the election process and the hacking claims, saying they must be investigated if they are serious.

Read: NASA, Jubilee inspect forms 34A, 34B after IEBC resorts to manual check

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