Kibaki Named Kenya Victor

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[International: Africa]



Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki won Thursday's closely-fought election, the electoral commission has declared.

The announcement came after opposition leader Raila Odinga accused Mr. Kibaki of electoral fraud and called for a full re-assessment of the results.

Opposition protesters began riots in the capital Nairobi, just minutes after the announcement.

The count was badly delayed, sparking violence in which at least 10 people are reported to have been killed.
Mr. Kibaki won 4, 584,721 votes, beating Mr Odinga by more than 230,000 votes, the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) said.


"The commission therefore declares Honourable Mwai Kibaki as the winner," ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu said.

Mr. Kibaki was then immediately sworn in for his second five-year term.

In his speech, he described the elections as "free and fair", urging all political parties to "accept the verdict of the people".

Mr. Kibaki said it was now "time for healing and reconciliation" to overcome issues dividing the nation.

Mr. Odinga had led since vote counting began, but saw his advantage evaporate as later votes were added.


The ECK announcement was delayed, following chaotic scenes at the commission's headquarters in Nairobi.


Just minutes after Mr. Kivuitu began reading the poll results, an opposition member approached the podium, shouting "Justice!" and "This is not a police state!"

Pandemonium then broke out, as other members of Mr. Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement got to their feet and began shouting, the BBC's Adam Mynott reports from inside the ECK headquarters.

Mr. Kivuitu had to be led away from the building by police, only to return later and announce Mr. Kibaki as the winner of the poll.

Mr. Odinga had earlier said that Mr. Kibaki "flooded this [electoral] commission with his cronies".




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