Kenya's Newly Re-elected President Calls For Calm As Violence Grows

Kenya's Newly Re-elected President Calls For Calm As Violence Grows

The son of Kenya's founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru whose name means "freedom", was declared victor of the historic Tuesday's presidential election by garnering 8,203,290 votes.

Mr. Kenyatta, in office since 2013, ahead of his rival, garnered 54.27% of the final vote, similar to what he had in a preliminary count.

Despite all that, the 72-year-old is a popular political figure in the country, and his allegations carry weight with his supporters, particularly among his Luo ethnic group who believe they have always been denied political power by Kenyatta's Kikuyu ethnic group.

"I extend a hand of partnership knowing full well that this country needs all of us pulling together in order for us to succeed", he said. As Eyder noted, this election marks something of a culmination for Kenyatta and Odinga, whose rivalry dates back to the 1960s, when their fathers - who once served as president and vice president themselves - had a bitter falling out.

Global election observers have said they saw no signs of interference with the vote.

The election commission rejected Odinga's claims that its database was hacked and results manipulated against him.

Odinga did not attend the announcement of the result, saying their concerns have not been addressed.

President Kenyatta also extended his gratitude to the staff and Commissioners at the electoral agency for burning the midnight oil to ensure that the results were validated before they were announced.

"We believe the IEBC put in place a detailed, transparent process of voting, counting, reporting and securing the vote, all of which lends significant credibility and accountability", Kerry told journalists. "The judgment is now out there in the court of public opinion". In his victory speech, Kenyatta called for unity with his challenger, Raila Odinga.

"Fellow Kenyans, elections come and go but Kenya is here to stay", he tweeted.

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Global observers have given the thumbs-up to the vote and U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec issued a statement on behalf of the diplomatic community calling for any complaints to be channeled through the courts, not street protests.

Kenya has seen post-election violence.

Odinga has provided documents allegedly showing a database being manipulated, as well as documents purported to be from the IEBC server showing him to be the true victor. Many feared similar violence after this election, though so far things have been more muted.

In 2007, a vote that was widely believed to have been flawed touched off bloodshed that left at least 1,300 people dead and 600,000 displaced. As the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya is a crucial trade route to the continent and provides an important buffer of stability in a region that includes the fledgling Somali government and the politically tense Sudan and South Sudan.

On Thursday many businesses remained closed and the streets were very quiet in the capital and elsewhere.

"President Kenyatta is not only a close friend and brother but also a development conscious and diligent leader".

In Kisumu, a local journalist described the city center as "a ghost town".

He was among four people reportedly killed in the long-running rioting which has split the African country in two. The day before, a polling agent from Odinga's party was killed in a machete attack in Tana River county.

Hackers, Odinga told reporters this week, had used Msando's credentials to gain access to the servers and to alter results.

"I don't control anybody. People want to see justice".