Kenya court: Partial recount in presidential vote
By Tom Odula and Jason Straziuso,
NAIROBI — Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered a recount of votes in some constituencies in the country’s March 4 presidential election.
The court heard arguments from civil society groups and the legal team of Prime Minister Raila Odinga over what they call failures by the election commission to conduct a free and fair election.
The court will decide Tuesday where and how the recount of votes will be done. The petitioners and the respondents are to elect 10 people each to act as observers.
Kenya’s electoral commission has been accused of a lack of transparency by the opposition.
The court ordered the recount in 22 of the country’s 291 constituencies to see if any of the tallies exceed the number of registered voters, one of the complaints from Odinga’s team. The court also ordered scrutiny of the 33,400 forms that were used to record results.
More than 12 million Kenyans voted March 4 in the country’s first presidential election since a 2007 vote sparked weeks of tribal violence that killed more than 1,000 people. Kenyan officials have pleaded with the public not to react to this year’s election with violence. So far only minor instances of election-related violence have been reported.
The electoral commission named Uhuru Kenyatta the winner over Odinga with 50.07 percent of the vote. Odinga has asked the court for a new vote, citing numerous failures in the counting and voter verification systems.
One of Odinga’s lawyers asked the court to order the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to make computer server logs available to Odinga’s team. The day after the vote, early electronic returns were broadcast on nearly every Kenyan TV station. Then, sometime around midday, the counts suddenly stopped, a problem the panel blamed on a crash of the computer servers.
— Associated Press