The leader of Kenya’s opposition has claimed that he was cheated of victory by an overnight hacking attack which manipulated the results in the country’s presidential election. “You can only cheat the people for so long,” Raila Odinga said. “The 2017 general election was a fraud.” With ballots from 94% of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission showed the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 54.4% of the nearly 14 million ballots tallied, against Odinga’s 44.8%, a difference of 1.3 million votes. Turnout appears to have been around 75%. Millions of people queued late into the evening on Tuesday to cast their votes in an election seen as a key test of the stability of one of Africa’s most important countries.
Though the polls passed peacefully, there are fears that his angry supporters could take their struggle for power to the streets in coming days.
Speaking at a news conference in Nairobi, Odinga claimed hackers broke into election commission computer systems and databases overnight to “create errors”. He urged his supporters to remain calm, but added: “You can only cheat the people for so long … I don’t control the people”.
Odinga’s deputy in the National Super Alliance (NASA), Kalonzo Musyoka, also appealed for calm but said the opposition might call for unspecified “action” at a later date.