Partial recount in Presidential vote: Kenya court

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 08:28

Nairobi: Kenya`s Supreme Court today 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 charge were failures by the election commission to conduct a free and fair election.

The court will decide on 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 lack of transparency by the opposition.

The court ordered the recount of votes 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 which were used to record election results.

More than 12 million Kenyans on March 4 voted 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 to not react to this year`s election with violence. So far only minor instances of election-related violence have been reported.

The election commission named Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the election with 50.07 percent of the vote. Odinga has asked the court for a new vote to be held, citing numerous failures in the vote counting and voter verification systems.

One of Odinga`s lawyers, Ochieng Oduol, asked the Supreme 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 on March 5, the counts suddenly stopped, a problem the IEBC blamed on a crash of the computer servers.

"The server was set up to fail and there was no intention to use the electronic data transfer," Oduol said when one of the judges asked him what he intended to show the court by gaining access to the logs.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 08:28

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