Kenya's Odinga rejects election results

TONY KARUMBA/ AFP

Kenya's losing presidential candidate Raila Odinga said on Tuesday his coalition totally rejects the election results that saw Deputy President William Ruto win the presidential vote.

The veteran opposition leader, who lost his fifth bid for the presidency, vowed to pursue legal means to challenge the decision.

He urged his supporters to maintain peace and not take the law on their own hands, at a media briefing in the capital Nairobi.

His first comments on the result came shortly after four of the seven election commissioners said they stood by their decision a day earlier to disown the outcome of the presidential poll, saying the final tallying process had been "opaque".

"Our view is that the figures announced by (electoral commission chairman Wafula) Chebukati are null and void and must be quashed by court of law," Odinga, told a news conference.

"What we saw yesterday was a travesty," he said. "Let no one take the law into their own hands."

Chebukati declared current deputy president William Ruto the winner on Monday with 50.49% of the vote against Odinga's 48.5%.

Minutes earlier, his deputy Juliana Cherera had told media at a separate location that she and three other commissioners disowned the results.

Speaking for the group on Tuesday, Cherera said the results that gave Ruto a wafer-thin victory were erroneously aggregated and accused Chebukati of over-ruling their questions on the final tally.

She said the elections had been conducted in a proper manner.

Odinga broadcast the dissenting commission members' own news conference at his own venue before taking the stage.

Monday's dramatic events have raised fears of violence like that seen after past elections in Kenya, usually one of Africa's most stable countries, and Odinga had faced calls from home and abroad to commit to resolving any disputes in the courts.

In 2017, more than 100 people were killed after the Supreme Court overturned the result citing anomalies in the voting process.

A decade earlier, more than 1,200 people were killed in widespread violence after the 2007 presidential vote.

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