Presidential election in Kenya splits the electoral commission

In Kenya election winner William Ruto is already preparing for a move into the State House. This is the official residence of the President in Nairobi. But a bitter dispute is still raging about the election a week ago, which has so far focused on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC), in particular on its chairman, Walufa Chebukati. He had announced Ruto’s victory in a most tumultuous ceremony. Shortly before, four out of seven members of the commission had stormed out of the hall in protest. The police had to intervene to quell the scuffle and commotion afterwards. Foreign observers and diplomats were rushed out.

Claudia Bröll

Political correspondent for Africa based in Cape Town.

Ruto, the current Vice President, has hailed Chebukati as a “hero of this election”. his opponent Raila Odinga Meanwhile, he supported the four commissioners. They accuse the chairman of going it alone and a “non-transparent” determination of the result.

Odinga, who ran in a presidential election for the fifth time, has already announced that he will challenge the election before the Supreme Court. Election observers from the Kenyan Elections Observation Group (ELOG) meanwhile described the result as consistent with their own representative surveys. Ruto got 50.5 percent of the votes, Odinga 48.9 percent.

“The Commission is concerned”

The confusion is reminiscent of the highly controversial 2017 elections in Kenya. The Supreme Court ultimately annulled them for irregularities and new elections scheduled. A review board later spoke of a combination of “willful incompetence and internal sabotage.” For its part, the electoral commission had complained about political influence and intimidation. In particular, the brutal murder of Chris Msando, the Commission’s IT manager, had caused horror not only in Kenya.

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