Cover-up of Kenyan vote rigging, Odinga team says
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Officials from the party of Kenya’s prime minister said Monday they are not getting the co-operation they need from Kenya’s electoral commission to prepare a lawsuit to challenge the results of the March 4 presidential vote.
There was an effort to cover-up cheating that they alleged gave the election win to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, said Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Lands Minister James Orengo. Both men were high profile lawyers before joining politics.
Kilonzo and Orengo, who back Kenyatta’s top challenger, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said the country’s electoral authority was ignoring their request to allow them to go through the voter register.
“Now that the electoral commission is refusing to allow us and other Kenyans who want to determine if that election had integrity, it obviously means that there is something wrong with their records,” Orengo said, adding that the returns were likely being “doctored.”
Kenya’s electoral commission denied withholding the documents. Tabitha Mutemi, the communication manager at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said that Odinga’s legal team wanted access to 33,000 documents which needed to be photo-copied, work that could not be completed in day.
Kilonzo said the information is fundamental for the formulation of their court petition.
“This will be a precedent setting case,” he said. “We are going to do a good job something that will satisfy the population that the days of rigging, the days of stealing elections or covering up are gone, that you can take to the bank.”
Kenya’s Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said Monday that the Supreme Court is prepared to hear the petition against Kenyatta’s re-election and other petitions that may arise from the election.
Mutunga assured those filing petitions that the Supreme Court will be impartial, fair and just.
Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, was declared president-elect on Saturday. Kenyatta won 50.07 percent of the vote, just surpassing the 50-percent level needed to avoid a runoff with Odinga.
Kenyatta and deputy-elect Vice President William Ruto have been indicted for crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court for allegedly orchestrating violence after the 2007 presidential election which led to the deaths of more than 1,000 people.
Odinga was the leading opposition candidate in 2007, and a dispute over the flawed tallying of the presidential votes in 2007, which pitted him against President Mwai Kibaki, who was seeking re-election, sparked the violence.