Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenyatta is reported winner of Kenyan presidential vote

NAIROBI, Kenya — Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president and a divisive political figure who has been accused of bankrolling death squads, appeared to have secured enough votes to win the race for Kenya's presidency early today.

But no official announcement was made, and the other top contender indicated that he would not concede defeat, raising worries of violence and chaos.

About 3 a.m., Kenyan television stations reported results from the election commission showing that Kenyatta, who studied at Amherst College and is one of the richest men in Africa, had squeaked past the majority threshold, winning 50.03 percent of the vote.

"Mr. President!" said a message on the KTN television network. "Uhuru wins final count. Results to be verified by agents."

The election commission, however, had said late Friday that it was not making a final announcement until 11 a.m. today, nearly a week after the election began.

Raila Odinga, Kenya's prime minister and the second-place contender, with 43 percent of the vote, will reject the result, one of his top advisers said this morning. Many people fear that such a development could lead to the type of confusion and violence that erupted in 2007, when Odinga said he was cheated out of victory in Kenya's last disputed election.

"Raila has no intention of conceding and will be challenging this in court," said Salim Lone, the adviser to Odinga. "The level of the failures in the system makes it very difficult to believe it was a credible result."

Odinga's rejection of the vote count in 2007 sent his supporters into the streets, setting off politically related violence that left more than 1,000 people dead. It was that violence that led to the grave accusations against Kenyatta, who was charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity.

Kenyatta is reported winner of Kenyan presidential vote 03/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 8, 2013 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours