Kenyan Officials Say Attempted Hack of Election System Failed

The chairman of Kenya’s election commission said Thursday its voting system was attacked one week before Tuesday’s presidential election but was not compromised.

“Hacking was attempted but did not succeed,” Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati told reporters at a news conference in the capital of Nairobi. Chebukati did not provide details.

Kenyans, meanwhile, continue to anxiously await the final vote count from the election amid claims it was rigged and election protests that have resulted in the deaths of several people.

Kenyatta leads, Odinga claims fraud

The commission said as of late Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta had a commanding 54 percent to 44.8 percent lead over Raila Odinga, who has charged the election was tainted by massive fraud. 

Odinga’s claims sparked isolated protests Wednesday in several areas of Nairobi, the western city of Kisumu and in the Tana River region, leaving four people dead in clashes with police.

Rafael Tuju, secretary general of Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, dismissed Odinga’s accusations as “disingenuous” and appealed for calm.

“These results are not coming from out of the blue, they are marked by facts, 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,” Tuju said.

Kenyatta and Odinga have a deep rivalry. They ran against each other in the 2007 and 2013 presidential elections. Odinga alleged vote-tampering after losing in 2013 and challenged the result in court. The 2007 election was followed by violence fueled by ethnic divisions that killed more than 1,000 people.

In addition to choosing a president, voters also decided on senators, governors, women’s representatives of the national assembly, members of the national assembly, and members of the county assemblies. 

Former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is part of the international election observation mission. He said the long lines he saw at polling stations Tuesday are a sign Kenyan voters are committed.

“It’s too early for us to draw any kinds of conclusions, so we’re not. But, obviously, given what’s happened in the past and given the stakes for the future, this is a very, very important election, and clearly the citizens of Kenya are taking it very, very seriously,” Kerry said.


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