Kenyatta declared winner of Kenya’s disputed but hard-fought polls

Kenyatta declared winner of Kenya’s disputed but hard-fought polls

President Uhuru Kenyatta has been declared the winner of Kenya’s fiercely-fought elections, which is now bitterly disputed by opposition rival, Raila Odinga.

Mr. Kenyatta, 55, was elected with a 54 percent win in Tuesday’s elections avoiding a runoff that could have seen him suffer a defeat.

Odinga, 72, won 44.7 percent of the vote and is alleging that the votes were rigged as the country sits on the edge of violence.

The election commission said the elections were “credible, fair and peaceful” but Odinga and his supporters criticized the polls as a charade.

Electoral Commission Chief Ezra Chiloba said, “there were no external or internal interferences with the system at any point before, during and after the voting.”

With Odinga saying challenging the outcome of the elections in court not being an option, riot police have been deployed to the streets and military put on standby.

“Kenya belongs to all of us. Let us shun violence and let us refuse to be used for short-term political gain,” Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta reached out to Odinga and opposition supporters, extending a hand of friendship.

“I am extending a hand of friendship to our older brother [Odinga]. We need and must continue to work together for the welfare of our people and in order to keep our country united,” he said.

Odinga’s party refused to take part in the announcement of the election results, accusing the commission of releasing the outcome before addressing its concerns.

Protests have erupted in several opposition strongholds after Kenyatta was declared the winner sparking fears of a similar violence in 2007 that nearly plunged the East African nation into a civil war.

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