Kenyan officials report low turnout in presidential election

2017-10-27 12:01
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenya's election commission says about 6.5 million people, or one-third of registered voters, went to the polls in a repeat presidential election that was boycotted by the main opposition group.

The turnout in Thursday's election was much lower than the nearly 80% of registered voters who participated in an August 8 election that was later nullified by the Supreme Court over irregularities, a decision seen as precedent-setting for Africa.

Wafula Chebukati, the election commission chairperson, said late on Thursday the count was based on results from 267 out of Kenya's 290 constituencies.

Authorities postponed voting in several counties until Saturday because opposition supporters prevented polling stations from opening and clashed with police. Four people were killed.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner in the August vote; opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose legal challenge led to the vote being nullified, withdrew from the new election, saying the process was not credible because of the lack of electoral reforms.

Illegalities and irregularities 

Police reported violence in five of Kenya's 47 counties on Thursday.

Not a single ballot box was delivered to 190 polling stations in the opposition stronghold of central Kisumu city, said a senior election official, John Ngutai Muyekho. He sat with the uncollected boxes in a school guarded by security forces.

"If anyone comes to collect, I'm ready. But so far no one has," Muyekho said.

The Supreme Court nullified the August election because it found what it called illegalities and irregularities — the first time a court in Africa had overturned a presidential vote. The ruling was sharply criticised by Kenyatta, who seeks a second term. After voting Thursday, he said he will work to unify the country if re-elected.

"What we have is a problem of tribalism, and tribalism is an issue that we must continue to deal with and fight with as we continue to develop our country," Kenyatta said.

Many observers say Kenya's ethnic-based politics overshadow the promise of its democracy. Kenyatta, who got 54 percent of the vote in August, is from the Kikuyu group; Odinga, who got nearly 45 percent in the earlier election, is a Luo.

Odinga and Kenyatta also faced off in a 2013 election similarly marred by opposition allegations of vote-rigging. The opposition leader also ran unsuccessfully in 2007, and ethnic-fueled animosity after that vote killed more than 1 000 people and forced 600 000 from their homes.

Read more on:    uhuru kenyatta  |  raila odinga  |  kenya  |  kenya 2017 elections  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.