As the vote totals slowly trickle in, the race for Kenya’s presidency is still too close to call. With about 80 percent of the votes tallied, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta maintains a small lead, but may not have enough votes to avoid a run-off.
Officials here at the National Election Center in Nairobi are compiling the final results of Kenya’s presidential election, as the country waits anxiously to know its next leader.
Uhuru Kenyatta has held a steady lead over his nearest rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, throughout the vote count. However, it is still uncertain if he will get more than 50 percent of the vote, as needed to avoid a run-off that would take place in April.
Kenya’s electoral commission, the IEBC, has said it will announce the winner on Friday. IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said teams are “working around the clock” to finalize the results.
“As we try and make sure we finish these results and declare the election, I want to ask you to remember that we have to moderate between accuracy and speed and human resource capacity – people getting fatigued,” said Hassan.
Because of a breakdown in an electronic vote transmission center, officers from the country’s 291 constituencies have to report in person to Nairobi with the results.
Political parties are growing impatient with the process. On Thursday, Odinga’s CORD alliance called for the IEBC to halt the vote counting, citing irregularities including ballot doctoring and cases where the number of people who voted at a given polling station exceeded the number of registered voters.
The IEBC has denied reports of these problems. Hassan said the totals coming in and being broadcast live across the country are accurate.
“I want to assure everybody that the results you are seeing being released here are credible and they reflect the will of the people who voted in those constituencies,” he said.
The Africa Center for Open Governance, a civil society organization, filed a petition against the IEBC Friday urging them to stop the vote count because of concerns about the integrity of the process. The case was later dismissed. VOA