Uhuru takes early lead in Kenyan polls as opposition disputes results

Voters queuing at Nairobi Central Ward, in Starehe Constituency, Nairobi County.

By Moses Wasamu


Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Party is poised to retain his seat according to results from a majority of polling stations that have finished their counting.

By 1.30 p.m., Uhuru had polled 7,829,485 votes (54.36%), while his closest challenger Raila Odinga of National Super Alliance (NASA) had polled 6,447,572 votes (44.77%). These results were from 38,643 out of 40,883 stations.

But the opposition NASA has disputed the results, saying they are not backed by copies of the original result forms 34 ‘A’ and 34 ‘B’ from the polling stations and the constituency tallying centers.

The results that are currently displaying on screens at the national tallying centre and which are available at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) website are being texted in by returning officers who are on the ground. The opposition wanted the electoral body to stop relaying the results as they come in, until the physical forms 34A and 34B arrive at the tallying centre.

But the electoral body has said that it will continue relaying the results for the sake of transparency and accountability.

The opposition’s fear is that there may be a discrepancy between what the commission has announced and what the forms reflect. But the electoral commission has tried to allay these fears by deciding that in case of discrepancy between the results transmitted using the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) kit and the actual form filled at the polling station, the result on the form would prevail.

The ruling, through its Secretary General, has condemned the decision by NASA to dispute the results and has demanded that the opposition should go to court if it has noticed any anomaly on the transmitted results and those in form 34A.

Yesterday, voting began at 6 am across the country. Voting ended by 5pm on Tuesday in most polling stations and vote tallying started immediately. The process started smoothly in most parts of the country except for a few counties where voting started late due to hitches ranging from poor weather to polling stations having the wrong batch of ballot papers. In some stations, voting was delayed for at least four hours.

In my polling station in Starehe constituency, Nairobi County, voting went on without any hitches. I took close to 3 hours between the time I arrived at the station and the time I left at 3 p.m.

To make up for the time lost by polling stations that opened late yesterday, the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that the commission would allow all voters in polling centers where voting started late to vote for the duration equivalent to the delay in starting the exercise.

The electoral body had registered some 19.6 million voters, who were expected to participate in the elections.