Kenya edges closer to new constitution

2010-08-05 07:40

Supporters of Kenya’s proposed new constitution had mustered twice

as many votes as their opponents, with more than 6 million ballots already

tallied today, provisional results showed.

No victor was yet declared by the interim Independent Electoral

Commission, but the “yes” camp of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila

Odinga looked to be headed for a comfortable win.

The commission did not announce a turnout, but polling officials

put the figure at 70% after polling stations closed yesterday.

With 12.4 million registered voters in the country, a 70% turnout

would mean the “yes” camp needed 4.3 million votes to secure victory.

The latest provisional figures showed that the “yes” camp already

had 4.1 million to the “no” camp’s 2 million.

A dispute over the results of the December 2007 election, which led

to deadly violence, started amid suspicion over the transparency of the tallying

process, which lasted three days, and the independence of the electoral


The electoral board’s members were subsequently changed, its

methods modernised under international guidance and the results came in fast


The provincial breakdown of the provisional results showed that the

Rift Valley, which saw some of the worst 2007/08 violence, voted overwhelmingly

against the new constitution.

Led by Higher Education Minister William Ruto, the “no” camp has

criticised the proposed constitution over clauses on abortion and land, but

promised to accept the outcome of the referendum.

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