'Fresh' clashes in Nairobi slum, '1 injured'... as Kenya vote observers urge calm

Picture: AFP
Picture: AFP

Nairobi - International observers on Thursday urged Kenyans to be patient as they awaited final election results following opposition allegations of vote-rigging, but clashes between police and protesters again erupted in a Nairobi slum.

While most of the East African country of more than 40 million people was calm, an Associated Press photographer said police fired on rioters in Kawangware, a poor area of the capital. One injured man was carried away by protesters who said police shot him.

Several people died in election protests on Wednesday after opposition leader Raila Odinga alleged that hackers infiltrated the election commission's database and manipulated results in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta following Tuesday's vote.

It was not clear when final results would be announced. The election commission has a week from the vote to do so. The international observers have not noted any signs of interference with the vote.

Hacking allegations 

"Elections should never be an issue of life or death," Marietje Schaake, the Dutch head of the European Union mission observing the elections, said at a news conference.

Odinga's hacking allegations "should be seriously looked at" as part of the process of verifying the final tallies, Schaake said.

John Mahama, chief election observer for the Commonwealth and former president of Ghana, said election observers don't have the capacity to investigate the hacking allegations, and noted that Kenya's voting and counting system appeared "credible, transparent and inclusive".

The election commission has said it is investigating Odinga's allegations, and has defended its electronic voting system as secure.

Provisional results showed Kenyatta, whose father was Kenya's first president after independence from British colonial rule, holding a strong lead with votes from 97.6%of polling stations counted.

'He shlould concede defeat' 

Angry crowds jeered at police patrolling in Kawangware, an opposition stronghold.

"People are demonstrating because of their rights," said Edwin Onyango, a supporter of the 72-year-old Odinga, a former prime minister who has run unsuccessfully for president on three previous occasions.

Odinga was a candidate in 2007 elections that were followed by violence, fueled by ethnic tensions, that killed more than 1 000 people. He also lost the 2013 vote to the 55-year-old Kenyatta and took allegations of vote-tampering to the Supreme Court, which rejected his case.

Some residents of Nairobi said the longtime opposition figure should acknowledge another lost political campaign.

"He has done a lot for this country," said James Maina Bajirane. "And at this particular time, at his age, he should concede defeat and the country goes on."

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