Uhuru Kenyatta, facing charges of crimes against humanity, saw his lead in Kenya’s presidential vote narrow, after the electoral body rejected his opponent’s call for a recount because of flaws and alleged manipulation. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission found no cases where votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters, as Prime Minister Raila Odinga’sCoalition for Reform and Democracy alleged yesterday, Chairman Issack Hassan said. Kenyatta, a deputy prime minister, received 4.42 million votes to Odinga’s 3.94 million out of the ballots declared from 68 percent of constituencies, according to the commission. “With the rigorous verification in place, there is no room to doctor the results whatsoever by any election official,” Hassan told reporters in Nairobi, the capital. “We cannot stop tallying. This is a legal process.”
Accusations by Odinga that he was robbed of victory in the last presidential election in December 2007 sparked two months of clashes that left more than 1,100 people dead and another 350,000 homeless. The unrest curbed growth in East Africa’s largest economy to 1.5 percent in 2008 from 7 percent a year earlier and disrupted key trade routes for landlocked neighbors including Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Kalonzo Musyoka, Odinga’s running mate and joint leader of CORD, said his party wants ballots from the March 4 election to be recounted. “We have evidence that results we have been receiving have actually been doctored,” Musyoka told reporters yesterday, without providing specific details. “It is not a call to mass action. We are committed as a coalition to the principle of the rule of law.”