The running mate of Kenyan presidential hopeful Raila Odinga has said a recount of votes after Monday's elections should be stopped. Kalonzo Musyoka, Odinga's running mate, said there is evidence of tampered results.
At a press conference on Thursday in Nairobi, Musyoka – who is running along side incumbent Prime Minister Odinga – said that ballot counting was not being done accurately.
Election officials have been recounting ballots by hand after glitches led the electronic tallying system to malfunction Wednesday, with votes from just over 40 percent of polling stations counted.
"We as a coalition take the position the national vote-tallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped and re-started using primary documents from the polling stations," he said. "We have evidence the results we are receiving have been doctored."
Fears of violence
Musyoka's remarks come during an already worrisome time for Kenyans. Following 2007’s presidential election, about 1,200 people were killed in ethnic violence when the current outgoing president, Mwai Kibaki, was declared victor over Odinga amid fraud allegations. There have been fears that if fraud allegations surface again, the mass-violence could return.
On Thursday, Musyoka called on Kenyans to remain calm while the ballot counting is sorted out.
"It is not a call to mass action," he said. "We must tell [Kenyans] there will be no mass action. We are committed as a coalition to the principle of the rule of law."
Slim lead for Kenyatta
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has kept a slim lead over Odinga since polls closed on Monday, but the inclusion of the large number of spoiled ballots could be a game-changer.
If no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the presidential vote, the two top finishers will face each other in a runoff election, to be held on April 11.
mz/slk (Reuters, AP, AFP)