Kenya election commission says vote tally moving too slowly

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  • Kenya's election commission says vote counting for its presidential election has been too slow.
  • This after the country voted on Tuesday.
  • Counting may continue into the weekend.

The head of Kenya's election commission on Friday admitted the tallying of results from the country's presidential poll was moving too slowly, blaming political parties for the delay, as national broadcasters abruptly stopped sharing provisional outcomes.

Tuesday's election was largely peaceful but disputes over previous presidential votes have been followed by deadly violence, fuelling jitters as provisional results point to a tight race between frontrunners William Ruto and Raila Odinga.

After the Supreme Court annulled the 2017 presidential poll, citing irregularities and mismanagement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the election watchdog is under pressure to deliver a clean vote and release the results by August 16.

But the complex process of verifying and tallying votes is now in its fourth day, with IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati accusing political party agents of delaying the exercise by haranguing election workers with unnecessary questions.

"We have observed that we are not moving as fast as we should. This exercise needs to be concluded as soon as possible," Chebukati said.

EXPLAINER | Your guide to the Kenyan elections

"The agents in this exercise cannot proceed in the manner in which we are proceeding as if we are doing a forensic audit.

"Please don't interrogate the... officers and slow down the process. If we do that, we will not be able to finish this exercise," he warned.

The IEBC, in a bid to be transparent, has uploaded forms to its website showing the results from each polling station, enabling Kenyan TV channels to work out their tallies.

But the broadcasters suddenly stopped their tallies on Thursday, with around a million votes left to go. They provided no explanation for the halt.

Chebukati has urged Kenyans not to worry about the different outcomes projected by various TV channels, saying the IEBC would release the results as soon as possible.

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