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U.S. Observers Urge Kenya's Poll Body to Finalize Posting of Results
Edited by Li Jing 

The U.S. observer mission on Thursday called on Kenya's electoral body to finalize posting of presidential election results.

The Carter Center said in a statement in Nairobi that the availability of the complete set of forms would enable independent verification of the results used by the commission to declare the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"Access to official results data is critical for interested parties so that they can crosscheck and verify results, and exercise their right to petition if necessary," the observers said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The U.S.-based observer group noted that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has posted on its website the constituency-level results (Form 34B), which include a list of the individual polling-station results.

The electoral body has also indicated that most of the polling-station results forms (34A) are also posted on its website and that the outstanding polling stations will be posted soon.

"The Center urges the IEBC to finalize the posting of the 34As as expeditiously as possible, noting the Aug. 18 deadline for filing challenges to the presidential election results," the observers said.

According to the Center, publishing results by polling station is an internationally recognized means to ensure transparent electoral processes and increase public confidence in the integrity of the results.

The Carter Center which is monitoring the electoral process in Kenya, including the tallying and public posting of official results and the judicial review of any electoral petitions.

The statement comes after the Opposition has accused the electoral agency of planning to forge forms 34B by delaying to make them available. This comes after one presidential candidate said Tuesday found anomalies in the results.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected in the Aug. 8 vote but Opposition leader Raila Odinga has rejected the results saying the election was rigged.

The opposition leader claims the election was rigged in favor of Kenyatta through the hacking and manipulation of the electronic vote-counting system.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Odinga did not provide evidence of rigging but promised to do so in Supreme Court by Friday.

His decision to go to the judiciary relieved many Kenyans who feared a repeat of the violence that followed a 2007 vote when Odinga called for protests.

The rigging claims sparked violent protests in the opposition stronghold between police and civilians protesting the results after the electoral commission declared Kenyatta the winner on Aug. 11.

The Center regretted the instances of violence and the loss of life that occurred during and after the elections and called on the police to protect Kenyan citizens and their right to freely assemble.

"The police should refrain from excessive use of force and protect Kenyan citizens as they exercise their constitutional right to freedom of expression," it said.

The observers also called on the government to ensure medical and humanitarian assistance to those in need and calls for full investigations of instances of inappropriate or excessive use of force.

(Xinhua News Agency, August 17, 2017) 

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