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Kenya vote winner gets 50.07 pct; loser challenges

March 9, 2013 • National News


Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election, speaks to the media in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, March 9, 2013. Odinga says he will not concede defeat and will contest the election result in court, saying that “democracy is on trial” after the country’s election process experienced multiple failures. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding father, was named the winner of the country’s presidential election on Saturday with 50.07 percent of the vote, but his opponent refused to concede, alleging multiple failures in the election’s integrity that he said has put Kenyan democracy on trial.

Supporters of Kenyatta — a man accused by an international court of helping to orchestrate the vicious violence that marred the nation’s last vote — flooded the streets, celebrating in a parade of red, his campaign’s color.

Refusing to accept defeat, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the election process experienced multiple failures as he announced plans to petition the Supreme Court. Odinga asked for calm and for Kenyans to love one another, a call that may help prevent a repeat of the 2007-08 violence in which more than 1,000 people were killed and that brought Kenya to the edge of civil war.

Kenyatta’s slim margin of victory increases the focus on a multitude of electoral failures that occurred during the six-day voting and counting process. Kenyatta surpassed the 50-percent level needed to avoid a runoff by just over 8,000 votes out of 12.3 million cast.

The United States, Britain and the European Union gave Kenya’s new political era a chilly reception. All released statements congratulating the Kenyan people but none mentioned Kenyatta by name. The West had made it Login to read more

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