Kenya opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga has said the electoral commission’s IT system has been hacked to manipulate the election results. He rejected early results from Tuesday’s vote indicating a strong lead for President Uhuru Kenyatta, BBC News repports.
Kenya’s election chief Wafula Chebukati said he had confidence in the system but the claims would be investigated. Many fear a repeat of the violence after a disputed election 10 years ago and there have been calls for calm.
Speaking at a press conference Mr Odinga, who heads the National Super Alliance (Nasa), said his supporters should remain calm.
But in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu, in western Kenya, a BBC reporter saw a group of several hundred of his supporters take to the streets shouting: “No Raila, no peace”. They were then dispersed by police using tear gas.
Speaking to journalists in the capital, Nairobi, Internal Security Minister Fred Matiang’i urged Kenyans to continue with their normal activities, saying he had not received any reports of unrest following the vote. He also said that social media access could be restricted if it “threatens the security of the country”.
Mr Odinga said that the hackers had gained access to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) computer system by using the identity of the commission’s IT manager, Chris Msando, who was killed last month.
He alleged that the hackers “loaded an algorithm” that allowed them to alter the results and ignore the figures being transmitted from tallying centres around the country.
The opposition leader had earlier told journalists the results coming in were “fake”, because the authorities had failed to present documents verifying the results.
The electoral commission has not reacted to the claims that its IT systems had been hacked, but earlier it urged people to wait calmly for the full results of Tuesday’s vote.
“During this critical phase, we urge all Kenyans to exercise restraint as we await official results from the polling stations and indeed as they start trickling in,” the commission said.
Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya, NASA Chief Agents Musalia Mudavadi and James Orengo have demanded that IEBC provides them with Form 34As which acts as a primary document and a backup of the results from various polling stations.
“IEBC assured us that they will provide us with scanned copies of Form 34As but so far we cannot access it. This is a fraud. What they have done is sent text results electronically without even proof of the forms. The commission has created opportunity were they can replicate results. The results are not credible, “said NASA’s chief agent James Orengo.
Mr Orengo has called on citizens to ignore the present results issued by the IEBC Terming them non authentic.
Electoral officials say that with 91% of results in, Mr Kenyatta is leading with about 54.5%, to Mr Odinga’s 44.6%. These results mean Mr Kenyatta appears to be heading for a first-round victory.
In order to avoid a run-off, a candidate needs 50% plus one of the votes cast and at least a 25% share of the vote in 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties. There were eight candidates in all, but apart from Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, none polled more than 0.3% of the vote.
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