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December 17, 2018

Uhuru re-elected President on 39% voter turnout

President elect Uhuru Kenyatta at Bomas of Kenya on October 30,2017./PSCU
President elect Uhuru Kenyatta at Bomas of Kenya on October 30,2017./PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday was declared winner of the controversial presidential rerun marred by isolated clashes and a boycott by NASA.

It was the second time in 81 days the 56-year-old Kenyatta had been declared victor.

His first win was overturned on September 1 by the Supreme Court, which cited illegalities and irregularities and ordered a rerun.

Uhuru ran virtually unopposed in the rerun on Thursday last week, as NASA’s Raila Odinga had withdrawn and called for opposition supporters to boycott the poll. Most of them did.

The IEBC declared Uhuru reelected with an 98.26 per cent of the votes a record since the advent of multi-party democracy which translates to 7,483,895 votes.

It announced the outcome without the vote from four Nyanza counties where the rerun was cancelled because of violence and said the totals in those counties would not

have changed the outcome.

Odinga, who has signalled a protracted duel against the Jubilee administration, came a distant second with 73,228 votes or 0.96 per cent. 

Turnout was 38.84 per cent, the IEBC said.

To cheers by his Jubilee brigade at the Bomas of Kenya, Uhuru received his certificate of victory as President-elect He has always said that he won the August 8 vote and yesterday said the intervening period has been difficult but he respects the rule of law and the judicial system.

In his victory speech, Uhuru said, “I want to thank those who came out to vote for me, despite violent, intimidation and witchcraft.”

“The Supreme Court directive was difficult even for me. Any other country that experienced what we went through would have burst asunder. But since the law is supreme, I submitted myself to the decision.” 

Uhuru also said that he declined to sign the controversial election laws amendment law, which Jubilee pushed through and the opposition rejects. However, it became law without his signature on Friday last week. 

“My victory today is just part of a process that is likely to once again be subjected to a constitutional test through our courts ... I will submit to this constitutional path regardless of

the outcome,” Kenyatta said.

“Let them go to court, let them do whatever they want. Nobody shall deny them their constitutional right,” he said.

After the 4-2 nullified victory, Uhuru also urged the Opposition to go to court but he became agitated. 

He termed he court led by Chief Justice David Maraga as crooks and vowed to fix the court. Yesterday, the President-elect did not say whether he would engage in dialogue with Raila to end the political crisis, tribal rifts and sporadic violence, especially on NASA turf, that has slowed the economy.

Raila has said he will only talk to Uhuru about organising fresh nominations and elections in 90 days.

Uhuru said he will make his agenda known after all the post-poll legal processes are exhausted.

"There is still another process and we shall wait for that process and its outcome. So those who want to ask me are you going to engage in dialogue? …let them first and foremost

exhaust the constitutionally laid down processes,” Uhuru said. Raila and his NASA brigade deferred their address to the nation that was set for yesterday to today 10am.

Raila has promised to fight what President turnout he calls “electoral authoritarianism”

and announced that NASA was creating a resistance movement wing that would engage in civil disobedience and boycott services and products that benefit from the Jubilee government.

The other six presidential candidates performed dismally and did not secure even 100,000 votes collectively.

Ekuru Aukot of irdway Alliance came third with 21,333 while Abduba Dida of Alliance for real Change had 14,107.

Independent candidates Joseph Kaluyu garnered 8,261, Michael Wainaina 8,007, Joseph Nyaga 5,554 and Cyrus Jirongo managing 3,852. 

In the August 8 poll Uhuru had garnered 8,203,290 votes ( 54.2 per cent) against the Raila’s 6, 762,224 votes, representing 44.74 per cent.

There are no indications IEBC plans to conduct polls in the four Nyanza counties where the rerun was cancelled because of violence.

“Even after the polls, we need to ask pertinent questions, we need deeper analysis as to why presidential elections in Kenya are hotly contested.

Why the IEBC is not considered a fair umpire?” IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati said.

“We need to compare ourselves with what happens during elections in other countries and see if this is an African problem,”

The IEBC boss said his wish is that October 26 poll is the last election in Kenya that with the recurring problems Earlier vice chairperson Consolata Nkatha said the 1.6 million from

NASA areas are insignifi cant and cannot change the tally.

“The commission in accordance with section 55 (B) of the election Act has directed a return to the election be made having been satisfied that the result shall not be affected by voting in the electoral area where the election was postponed,” said

Nkatha did not however indicate if the Commission will give Siaya, Kisumu, Migori and Homa Bay counties a chance to participate in an election of the President.

Article 138 of the Constitution makes it mandatory for presidential elections to be held in all the 290 constituencies.

The failure to conduct the polls is already a legal goldmine for NASA.

“Article 138 ( 2 ) of our Constitution is crystal clear. Whatever Chebukati will be purporting to declare at Bomas this afternoon cannot be results of a presidential election in Kenya.

Until and unless my Ugunja people participate, NO presidential election can be complete,” Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said.

The commission, by the time of declaration, had verified 266 physical Forms 34Bs, including the diaspora votes.

From the IEBC’s records, some 7,616,217 voters out of 19,611,423 registered voters voted last Thursday 38.84 per cent turnout.

The Opposition had called for countrywide boycott of the repeat exercise it had described as sham and rigged exercise. NASA had demanded a raft of reforms and personnel change at the electoral body to avoid what it called repeating mistakes of the |August contest.

Some 37,713 votes were classified as rejected votes

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