Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) is keeping the entire world on tenterhooks, after failing to declare the presidential election result at 2.30pm, Kenyan time as it voluntarily promised.
The commission had initially on its website on Wednesday gave victory to President Uhuru Kenyatta. It withdrew the claim after the opposition complained that the website of the agency had been hacked and that result declared was not backed with Forms 34 A, B and C as stated by the electoral rules.
The agency denied its site was hacked and then gave the promise on Friday to announce the result at 2.30pm after reports from all the counties and electoral districts.
The agency has kept the world on tenterhooks since the deadline lapsed. Meanwhile, the opposition coalition, with Raila Odinga as candidate has proclaimed their leader the winner over the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta.
It said it would accept the result of this week’s presidential vote if the election commission granted it access to see raw data on its computer servers.
The move, as Reuters reported, is a significant climb-down from its previous position when the coalition rejected figures released by the commission and said its candidate Raila Odinga should be declared president.
Many Kenyans feared the dispute would lead to violent protests after more than 1,000 people were killed following the contested 2007 election. Provisional results from all but a few polling stations show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a lead of 1.4 million votes as he vies for a second and final five-year term. Odinga has lost the last two elections, claiming fraud in both cases.
“If they can open those servers, and we all look at it, we are prepared to accept the results of what is contained in those servers,” James Orengo, chief election agent for the NASA opposition coalition, told reporters.
Orengo also called for other candidates and observers to be given access to the servers so there could be a transparent audit of data from 41,000 polling stations across the country.
Yakub Guliye, election commissioner in charge of information technology, said the opposition had not made a formal request. “It was a verbal request and we don’t act on verbal requests. We are yet to receive a formal request,” he told reporters. Normal procedure calls for the commission to release final results after cross checking its electronic tally with paper forms.
Odinga’s camp has said figures released by the commission since Tuesday’s vote were “fictitious” and that “confidential sources” within the commission had provided figures showing Odinga had a large lead in the race.