JOHANNESBURG, August 11 – The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Friday congratulated the people of Kenya for conducting peaceful general elections.
The polls were observed by an AU election observer mission led by former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, who said the elections were peaceful and met laid out standards.
“The Chairperson stress that the massive participation of the Kenyan voters demonstrated their resolve to fulfil their democratic aspirations and consolidation of peace and the rule of law in their country,” said the AUC.
Nearly 20 million Kenyans registered to vote in the presidential and parliamentary polls conducted on Tuesday, 8 August, in which incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, was vying for the top job against 72-year-old opposition leader Raila Odinga.
By late Thursday 99 percent of the ballots had been counted and Kenyatta was way ahead. The son of the founding Kenya president, Jomo Kenyatta, has garnered about 54 percent (8,163,572) of the votes compared to Odinga’s 44.8 percent (6,747,099).
The AUC said Mahamat fully supported the preliminary statement issued by Mbeki on Thursday and urged the people of Kenya to maintain calm as they wait for the announcement of final results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Trailing by a huge margin, Odinga the leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa), has labeled the results thus far as fraudulent. He claimed hackers accessed the system and altered the results to favour Kenyatta and his Jubilee party.
However, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), on Thursday denied the vote counting systems had been hacked, but he revealed that there was an unsuccessful attempt to do so. “Hacking was attempted but did not succeed,” said Chebukai, adding that tallying of final results was continuing.
As a result of the dispute, there have been sporadic clashes between protesters and the police. At least five people have died in the clashes.
The AUC said Mahamat expressed deep concern over the immediate post-election day developments, including the rejection of the results by some political actors and the outbreak of violence in some counties, which have reportedly claimed some lives.
“The chairperson of the commission is in contact with regional leaders and other members of the international community to ensure a coordinated and effective support to efforts aimed at preserving peace, security, and stability in Kenya and upholding the principles of the rule of law and democracy.”