Kerry says Kenya vote system appears 'strong'

Written by  Published in Regional Wednesday, 09 August 2017 19:01
The Latest on Kenya's elections (all times local):
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Kenya's ability to secure its voting system "appears to be very, very strong."
Kerry is leading a mission of election observers who have monitored Tuesday's vote and its aftermath.
He spoke as Kenya's election commission defended its electronic voting system from opposition candidate Raila Odinga's allegations that the system was hacked. Odinga says votes were manipulated in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who holds a strong lead with 96 percent of polling stations counted.
Kerry says Kenya's leaders need to step up in the coming days and give people confidence amid fears of post-election violence.
Kenya's election commission is defending the country's electronic voting system as secure, saying there were "no interferences before, during and after" Tuesday's election.
The statements Wednesday night came after opposition candidate Raila Odinga accused hackers of infiltrating the system and manipulating the vote in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Provisional results show Kenyatta holding a strong lead with 96 percent of polling stations counted. It is not yet clear when final results will be announced. Authorities have a week to do so.
International election observers say Kenyan officials should be allowed to work freely and securely as they count the results of Tuesday's disputed vote.
Wednesday's statement comes after opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed the election results had been hacked. The allegation was followed by violent protests in several opposition strongholds around Kenya. Three people were shot and killed amid clashes with police.
The election observers include teams from the African Union and the European Union as well as a mission led by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kenyan election officials are investigating the hacking allegations. The international observers are urging Kenyans to remain calm as the process unfolds.


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