Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga Wednesday alleged fraud in the country's general election, saying hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results in what he called an "attack on our democracy.
In response, the Kenyan Election Commission [IEBC] chairman said the voting process was free and fair. However, he added that the commission was investigating whether or not the election computer system was hacked.
Odinga's allegations followed the release of election results showing President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over the opposition leader after votes from the vast majority of polling stations had been counted.
"Hackers gained entry into our election database" and "created errors," Odinga said at a news conference.
"You can only cheat the people for so long," the opposition leader said. "The 2017 general election was a fraud."
Odinga also ran against Kenyatta in the 2013 vote and unsuccessfully challenged the results in court with allegations of vote-tampering. The longtime opposition figure also ran in the 2007 election, which was followed by violence fueled by ethnic divisions that killed more than 1,000 people.
Earlier Wednesday, Odinga's camp criticized the election commission for releasing data in the presidential race but failing to post information about which constituencies had been counted.
Election officials acknowledged the opposition objection, but defended their actions.
"We believe that by displaying results, we have been doing well to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral process, consistent with the commitment the commission has made to the Kenya people," said commissioner Consalata Bucha Nkatha Maina, vice chairwoman of the election commission.
A top official in Kenyatta's Jubilee Party said the opposition's criticism of the electoral process was unfounded.
"Once again, we appeal to Kenyans to be calm, once again we want people to look at the figures soberly," said the official, Rafael Tuju. "These results are not coming from out of the blue, but by fact and you cannot claim that results are fake with respect to presidential and you welcome the areas where your governors and your members of parliament have won convincingly. You have to accept the results however they come."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team