NewsEast & Horn AfricaKenya's opposition rejects 'fraudulent' election citing hacking

Sun,22Oct2017

Posted on Wednesday, 09 August 2017 11:19

Kenya's opposition rejects 'fraudulent' election citing hacking

By Mark Anderson in Nairobi

09082017Kenya's opposition coalition has said yesterday's general election was “fraudulent” because hackers acting on behalf of the governing party compromised the electoral body’s database, as they urged their supporters to remain calm.

 

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who is running on the National Super Alliance (NASA) ticket, said his team uncovered evidence of hacking into the electoral commission's database. Odinga did not answer questions about the source of evidence that he says supports the claims.

Odinga is running against incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party in what he has said will be his last race. It is his fourth attempt at the presidency.

Provisional results released by the country’s electoral body show Kenyatta leading Odinga by about 9.5% of the vote with 7.8m votes.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi, Odinga said "some persons gained entry" to the electoral body's database and added votes for the ruling Jubilee Party.

"The 2017 general election was a fraud," Odinga said. "We are telling people not to accept these results; we are asking them to stay calm."

Odinga later tweeted that NASA's tallying of yesterday's election indicated that he received 8.1m votes, beating Kenyatta’s 7.2m votes.

But Kenya's electoral body and experts said the claims were premature because no official results had been released.

The country's electoral body, the International Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC), has released provisional results from electronic voting transmission systems across the country.

"The results that are displayed on the screen are not the official results," said Wafula Chebukati, the IEBC's chairman. “For now, I cannot say whether the system was hacked,” he added.

Charles Hornsby, a historian specialising on Kenya, said: "It makes no difference what the IEBC's screens in the Bomas tallying centre say because the election results are only issued by the constituency."

The country's court of appeals ruled on 23 June that presidential election results will be declared at the constituency level. The IEBC had fought the ruling, asking for results to only be declared at the national tallying centre.

Odinga said the hacking was linked to the murder of Chris Msando, the IEBC's systems development manager, who was tortured before being strangled to death on the evening of 28 July. Odinga said Msando's “logins were used to gain access into the IEBC Core Server and freely alter election data”.

"This takes Mr. Kenyatta and [Deputy President] William Ruto’s fraud on our morality to another level," Odinga said. "But you can only cheat a people for so long."

Kenya's government has denied any involvement in Msando's murder.

Speaking before Odinga’s hacking claims, the Jubilee Party’s secretary-general Raphael Tuju said his party was satisfied with provisional results.



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