Kenya’s Raila Odinga, the main opposition candidate who lost a presidential bid to President William Ruto in August, says his party won’t accept the current government following the allegations of false results reporting from an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) staffer who leaked documents to Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja coalition.
“We, as Azimio, reject the 2022 election results,” said Odinga on Monday. “We can’t and won’t recognize the Kenya Kwanza regime and consider the Kenya Kwanza government illegitimate. We don’t recognize Mr. William Ruto as President of Kenya and we equally don’t recognize any officials in office with him.”
Since last week, when leaked data surfaced with results that suggest reporting from 59% of Kenya’s constituencies was inaccurate, the Azimio leaders have said they want a full forensic audit on the results. They have waited for Odinga to return from a South Africa trip before moving ahead with next steps.
Ruto, currently visiting France for bilateral talks with President Emmanuel Macron, rejected the Azimio claims and said he won’t allow Kenya to be blackmailed by opposition demands. Ruto has expressed his confidence in outgoing IEBC chief Wafula Chebukati and the integrity of the August 2022 elections.
Election observer Jeffrey Smith of Vanguard Africa, a pro-democracy group, has said that the trove of leaked election data “cast doubt on the validity of the final results” and, while perhaps not material enough to change the outcome of the presidential election, demonstrates the need for reforms to ensure transparency and accuracy in Kenyan elections.
Image: Raila Odinga