Kenyan election officials blame agents of presidential candidates for delay in results

The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) accused party agents of approaching the process like a “forensic audit”, saying they were disrupting the process.

“Please do not interrogate the electoral officers and slow down the process. If we do, we will not be able to finish this exercise,” President Wafula Chebukati told a press conference on Friday.

“Agents, do your part: observe, make notes and then let the process continue,” he said, threatening to expel disruptive individuals.

Three days after polling, 99.94% of results from polling stations have been submitted electronically, while only a small number have been verified and declared by the IEBC.

The wait has fueled anxiety across the country as Kenyans anxiously wait to find out the winner of the presidential race. Provisional results tallied by major TV stations showed frontrunners Raila Odinga and William Ruto neck and neck in the race. However, with more than 13 million of the nearly 14 million votes cast counted, broadcasters had stopped updating the count by Thursday night.

Kenya’s electoral law requires designated poll officials, known as returning officers, to bring physical forms showing results across the country to the tallying center in the capital, Nairobi.

The IEBC has until Monday, August 15 to announce the results. The commission has enacted a law that allows seven days (from the day of voting) to announce the winner. The delay has fueled misinformation among Kenyans eager to know who their next president will be. Some influential Kenyans have posted unverified claims on social media about the conduct of the election while declaring victory for their preferred candidates.

The presidential race is seen as a two-horse race between Deputy President Ruto and senior opposition leader Odinga, who is backed by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta for the top job.

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