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From the count to chaos

by David Coffey

Article published on the 2008-04-30 Latest update 2008-05-01 11:54 TU

Vote counting in Nairobi's Kibera slum(Photo: Reuters)

Vote counting in Nairobi's Kibera slum
(Photo: Reuters)

Polls closed on Thursday 27 December. As the count began in earnest, the tallies announced by the Kenyan Electoral Commission gave Raila Odinga a clear lead over president Mwai Kibaki. By late Friday, Odinga appeared to be ahead by one million votes. Then, on Saturday 29 December, the flow of results trickled to a halt. The media was banned from broadcasting live reports from the count centre.

European Union election observers began to question the delays in issuing results, as opposition supporters claimed that the Electoral Commission (ECK) was "cooking the books" in favour of the ruling Party of National Unity (PNU).

Kibera residents face riot police in Nairobi, 30 December 2007(Photo : Reuters)

Kibera residents face riot police in Nairobi, 30 December 2007
(Photo : Reuters)

Sporadic violence broke out in and around the slums of Nairobi late Saturday. By Sunday the ECK media centre became a theatre of acrimonious and sometimes farcical accusations from opposition and government observers making claims and counter-claims of vote rigging.

Post-election tension

After a relatively calm polling day on 27 December, delays in the counting of ballots created an atmosphere of suspicion among supporters of Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movemment. RFI's David Coffey was there as Kenyans took to the streets.

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29/12/2007 by David Coffey

Click to continue: Odinga calls vote rigging

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