|FIle photo: set barricades on fire in Kisumu, Kenya,|
With ballots from 94% of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission showed the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 54.4% of the nearly 14 million ballots tallied, against Odinga’s 44.8%, a difference of 1.3 million votes. Turnout appears to have been around 75%.
Millions of people queued late into the evening on Tuesday to cast their votes in an election seen as a key test of the stability of one of Africa’s most important countries.
Though the polls passed peacefully, there are fears that his angry supporters could take their struggle for power to the streets in coming days.
Speaking at a news conference in Nairobi, Odinga claimed hackers broke into election commission computer systems and databases overnight to “create errors”. He urged his supporters to remain calm, but added: “You can only cheat the people for so long … I don’t control the people”.
Odinga’s deputy in the National Super Alliance (NASA), Kalonzo Musyoka, also appealed for calm but said the opposition might call for unspecified “action” at a later date.
Shortly afterwards, Kenyan police in the western city of Kisumu fired teargas at a group of 100 opposition supporters who had been chanting “No Raila, no peace” .
Kenya goes to the polls in closely contested election – in pictures
In 2007, Odinga’s angry rejection of the result in an election marred by irregularities prompted rioting and retaliation by security forces that tipped the country into its worst crisis for decades. Around 1,200 people were killed in a campaign of ethnic violence that followed.
Odinga, a polarising figure who is making his fourth bid for power, said on Tuesday night that the early results were “fictitious” and “fake”, telling a late-night news conference that his party’s own tally put him ahead.
“We have our projections from our agents which show we are ahead by far,” Odinga said.
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