election violence

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Editorials: Kenyan Democracy’s Missed Opportunity | Neha Wadekar/The New Yorker

Last Tuesday, Nairobi felt like a city awaiting the apocalypse. Streets normally clogged with traffic were eerily quiet. Grocery-store shelves had been largely emptied of supplies. Anxious wealthy residents booked flights out of town, conveniently scheduling their summer vacations to avoid the chaos of a Kenyan national election. The Chinese government, Western private-sector companies, and other foreign investors braced as well. A peaceful vote in Kenya, which is regarded as the most vibrant economic and democratic power in East Africa, could unleash billions of dollars in infrastructure and development contracts. Kenya has had a long and calamitous history of political violence and corruption since it gained independence from British colonial rule, in 1963. Much of this conflict is rooted in ethnic tensions between different tribes, which many historians attribute, in part, to decades of British colonial rule that intentionally played major tribes against one another. Rich and poor Kenyans alike feared a repeat of the 2007 post-election violence between two of the country’s largest tribes, the Luo and Kikuyu, which killed more than twelve hundred people and displaced more than half a million. Read More

Papua New Guinea: Extra security callout to Papua New Guinea’s Highlands over election violence | Radio New Zealand

Papua New Guinea’s government has approved the callout of additional security forces to the Highlands, where election-related violence lingers. At least twenty people have died since vote counting began last month in Enga province’s capital Wabag. PNG’s election has finished except in one electorate in Southern Highlands, where at least five deaths have been reported over grievances. The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has announced the expansion of the Defence Force’s callout in Hela Province to prevent unrest in neighbouring Enga and Southern Highlands. Read More

Kenya: Kenyatta Wins Big in Kenya – But U.S.-Style Election Skullduggery Taints the Results | The Daily Beast

Kenya’s election has come off without major disturbances, and on Friday evening Nairobi time, the nation’s Independent Electoral Board and Boundaries Commission declared a winner in the country’s presidential race. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, secured 54.2 percent of the vote. All the same, a number of election-cycle oddities go unexplained—including the novel involvement of foreign big-data and PR consultancies who’ve played significant roles in electoral upsets in both the U.S. and U.K. Tuesday, election day, the seafront here in Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was deserted. Shops and schools were closed. In the town square a long line of men–including red-cloaked Maasai–stood chatting quietly. Women waited in a separate queue, noticeably shorter than the men’s. Read More

Kenya: Flying rocks, teargas and a dead child: the grisly aftermath of the Kenya election | The Guardian

Mid-afternoon, and black smoke trails above the grey tenements. Broken glass, burned tyres, rubble and makeshift barricades block roads. Charred spars mark where a stall once stood, incinerated in confused clashes overnight. Police, armed with batons and assault rifles, cluster around their trucks. Angry men shout slogans and wave fists. The morning has seen much violence: teenagers throwing rocks, police firing teargas. During the night, Mathare, a sprawling slum in Nairobi, has echoed to the sound of gunfire and police helicopters. There have been many casualties, some fatal. Now there is a pause. The police are waiting. So too are the youths they have pursued through the narrow lanes for almost 18 hours – since the Kenyan election commission declared Uhuru Kenyatta, in power since 2013, had won the presidential polls held on Tuesday by a substantial margin. Read More

Kenya: The Drama of Kenya’s Presidential Election | The Atlantic

An electoral system with a spotty record, claims of hacking, the mysterious killing of an election official, and the threat of post-election violence makes this week’s presidential election in Kenya one of the most closely watched in Africa. Adding to the intrigue: The head of the country’s election commission acknowledged Thursday there had been an unsuccessful attempt to hack its database. That acknowledgment came a day after Raila Odinga, a leading presidential candidate, claimed the elections were fixed in favor of the incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta. “Hacking was attempted but did not succeed,” said Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). His remarks have the potential to raise tensions in a country that already has seen five people killed in post-election violence. Although the results are not final, Kenyatta holds a strong lead over Odinga with most of the votes counted at polling stations. Read More

Kenya: Election monitors urge losing candidates to accept poll results | The Guardian

International election observers have called on politicians defeated in Kenya’s fiercely contested polls to concede gracefully without taking their struggle to the streets. The statements by delegations from the EU, the African Union and the US came as opposition groups accused electoral officials of hiding the true results of Tuesday’s elections, which they said showed their leader, Raila Odinga, had won by 300,000 votes. Provisional results released by Kenya’s election commission have put the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, ahead by 54.2% of votes counted, to 44% for Odinga. A final verified declaration of results based on returns signed by agents from all parties at polling stations and constituencies is expected on Friday. Read More

Kenya: Police and protesters clash after opposition leader’s fraud claims | The Guardian

Protesters and police in Kenya have clashed after the leader of the opposition claimed he was cheated of victory by a hacking attack that he said manipulated the results in the country’s presidential election. Raila Odinga, the leader of the National Super Alliance, said election commission computer systems and databases were tampered with overnight to “create errors” in favour of rival candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been in power since 2013. Odinga urged his supporters to remain calm, but added: “I don’t control the people.” “You can only cheat the people for so long,” he said. “The 2017 general election was a fraud.” With ballots from 96% of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission show Kenyatta leading with 54.4% of the vote, against Odinga’s 44.8%, a difference of 1.4 million votes. The election is seen as a key test of the stability of one of Africa’s most important countries. Read More

Kenya: Hacking Allegations, Violence Before Election Results | Associated Press

Kenyan police opened fire Wednesday to disperse rioters in several areas after presidential challenger Raila Odinga alleged election fraud, saying hackers used the identity of a murdered official to infiltrate the database of the election commission and manipulate results in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta. At least three people were killed.

As Kenyatta held a strong lead in provisional results with 96 percent of all polling stations counted, the election commission defended the voting system as secure, saying there were “no interferences before, during and after” Tuesday’s election.

Election officials were verifying the final tallies Wednesday night. It was unclear how long it would take, though by law election officials have up to a week from the election to announce the results.

Odinga, a former prime minister, blamed Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party for the alleged hacking. “The fraud Jubilee has perpetuated on Kenyans surpasses any level of voter theft in our country’s history. This time we caught them,” he tweeted.

Soon after Odinga claimed on television that the election had been rigged, angry protesters in the Nairobi slum of Mathare and poor areas in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu in the southwest burned tires, set up roadblocks and clashed with police.

Two people were shot dead in Nairobi as they took advantage of the protests to loot, Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said. An Associated Press photographer said one was shot in the head. Police killed one person when they opened fire on protesters in another opposition stronghold in Kisii County, said Leonard Katana, a regional police commander.

Many parts of Kenya, East Africa’s commercial hub, remained calm, but the violence stirred memories of the unrest that followed the 2007 vote in which more than 1,000 people were killed. Odinga lost that election; he also lost the 2013 vote to Kenyatta and took allegations of vote-tampering to the Supreme Court, which rejected his case.

Full Article: Kenya: Hacking Allegations, Violence Before Election Results | Time.com.

Kenya: Kenyans choose next president in fiercely contested vote | Associated Press

Kenyans on Tuesday voted in large numbers an election that pits President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga in this East African economic hub known for its relative, long-term stability as well as the ethnic allegiances that shadow its democracy. Voters formed long lines at many polling stations before dawn, waiting for the chance to cast ballots in the tightly contested race for the presidency as well as for more than 1,800 elected positions, including governors, legislative representatives and county officials. A key concern was whether Kenya would echo its 2013 election, a mostly peaceful affair despite opposition allegations of vote-tampering, or the 2007 election, which led to violence fueled by ethnic divisions that killed more than 1,000 people. Read More

Kenya: Police to flood streets as country braces for election violence | The Guardian

An estimated 180,000 police officers and members of the security forces have been deployed across Kenya as the country prepares to vote on Tuesday in a fiercely contested presidential election. Voters will either return the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, in power since 2013, or elect the veteran opposition politician Raila Odinga. Recent opinion polls have not indicated any clear leader in the campaign and turnout will be a key factor. The country is braced for widespread unrest whoever wins, after a campaign marred by hundreds of violent incidents – including the murder of a high-profile election official – issues with new voting technology and widespread concerns about fraud. Read More