The Latest: Kerry says Kenya vote system appears 'strong'
Posted August 9
NAIROBI, Kenya — 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.
Amnesty International is urging Kenyan police not to use force unnecessarily in their response to protests following Kenya's election and opposition allegations of vote-tampering.
The appeal from the human rights group follows the deaths of at least three people who were shot during clashes between police and rioters in the wake of Tuesday's vote. One was killed by police during a protest in southwestern Kenya. Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome says two people were shot in the capital as they took advantage of protests to steal.
Muthoni Wanyeki, a regional director for Amnesty International, says police should not disrupt peaceful protests and that force should only be used as a "last resort" that seeks to avoid loss of life.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has posted online what he says are computer logs proving his allegation that hackers used the identity of a murdered election official to manipulate voting results.
Odinga's Facebook page shows images of logs that the presidential candidate cites as evidence that hackers entered the election commission database and altered results to give President Uhuru Kenyatta a big lead in Tuesday's polls.
Odinga says the infiltrators used the identity of Christopher Msando, an election official in charge of managing information technology systems who was found tortured and killed about a week before the election.
A Tuesday morning entry in the purported computer logs reads: "Login failed for user 'msando'. Reason: The password of the account must be changed."
Election officials say they are investigating the opposition allegations.
Kenya's election commission says President Uhuru Kenyatta holds a strong lead over challenger Raila Odinga with all but 4 percent of polling stations counted.
The commission's data shows Kenyatta with more than 54 percent of the vote and Odinga with more than 44 percent.
Officials are waiting to announce the winner until they check documents confirming the results from around the country in an effort to address opposition allegations of vote tampering.
It is unclear how long that process will take. Election officials by law have up to a week from election day to announce the results.
A Kenya security official says a homemade bomb planted by extremists to disrupt elections blew up after a hyena set it off.
Joseph Kanyiri, the head of a task force of security agents in Lamu county, says the blast occurred after the hyena walked over it.
He says the bomb had been planted on a route used by election officials to transport ballots to a counting center. Lamu is on a dusk-to-dawn curfew following attacks by the al-Shabab extremist group based in neighboring Somalia.
Al-Shabab had threatened to disrupt Tuesday's elections. The group has carried out more than 100 attacks in Kenya since 2011, calling it retribution for the country sending troops to Somalia to fight it.
A police official and a witness say two people have been shot dead in Kenya's capital during protests over provisional election results showing President Uhuru Kenyatta leading opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome says the two were shot as they took advantage of the protests to steal.
An Associated Press photographer says one was shot in the head.
Protests broke out after Odinga alleged that election results from Tuesday's vote had been hacked into and manipulated.
Kenya's Railways have suspended operations of trains on its recently launched line from Mombasa to Nairobi from Thursday until further notice.
The announcement was made as violent protests erupted in Kenya as opposition supporters protested alleged voter fraud in the tallying of presidential results which put Uhuru Kenyatta significantly ahead of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Kenya Railway Authority Managing Director Atanas Maina said the decision was made to safeguard passengers and operations across the country.
The newly completed rail line from the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa to the capital city Nairobi has been touted as a major success of President Uhuru Kenyatta's government and there are fears it may be targeted by anti-Kenyatta protesters.
Kenyatta often referred to the project as a success of his leadership in recent campaign speeches. The rail line is the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence from Britain in 1963. Critics say the $3.3 billion project, mostly funded by the Chinese, will never return the investment.
In protests after the 2007 elections, opposition supporters pulled out a section of railway track linking Mombasa to Uganda, Kenya's largest trading partner. This was after Uganda President Yoweri Museveni supported the re-election of then president Mwai Kibaki who the opposition said had won through rigging.
The chairman of Kenya's election commission says allegations by opposition leader Raila Odinga that the commission's database was hacked in order to manipulate results will be investigated.
Chairman Wafula Chebukati said Wednesday that an audit likely will be ordered to address concerns about the system used for Tuesday's elections.
"For now, I cannot say whether or not the system has been hacked," Chebukati says.
Odinga made the hacking allegation after results released by the commission showed him trailing President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term. The vast majority of polling stations have been counted.
Protesters in the Kenyan city of Kisumu say police are shooting at them and using tear gas amid anger over election results in the stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Sebastian Omolo tells The Associated Press that chaos broke out as soon as Odinga finished speaking on television. Odinga says hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated Tuesday's voting results in what he calls an "attack on our democracy."
Results show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead after votes from the vast majority of polling stations were counted.
Kisumu shopkeeper Festus Odhiambo says he is praying for peace even as roads into the city's slums have been blocked by bonfires and boulders.
The city has been a flashpoint in past elections.
A witness says hundreds of protesters are rioting in Kisumu, a city in southwestern Kenya that is a stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Kenyan journalist Fred Ooko says people from the Kondele slum in Kisumu burned tires and blocked roads on Wednesday. Kisumu, a port city on Lake Victoria, is one of Kenya's largest urban centers.
Authorities have been concerned about possible violence following elections on Tuesday. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has alleged fraud following the release of results showing him trailing President Uhuru Kenyatta by a wide margin.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga says hackers used the identity of a murdered electoral official to gain entry to the election commission's database in order to manipulate voting results.
Odinga was referring to Christopher Msando, an election official in charge of managing information technology systems who had sought to reassure voters that the results of Tuesday's elections would not be exposed to tampering.
But on July 31 officials announced that Msando had been tortured and killed.
Odinga made the allegation about Msando's identity at a news conference Wednesday at which he said the elections were a fraud. Results released by the election commission have shown Odinga trailing President Uhuru Kenyatta by a wide margin.
Kenyan police say officers opened fire on people protesting election results in an opposition stronghold in southwestern Kenya, killing 1 person.
Leonard Katana, a regional police commander, said the shooting happened Wednesday when protesters clashed with security forces in South Mugirango constituency in Kisii County.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has alleged fraud in the country's general election, saying hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results. His comments followed the release of results from Tuesday's election showing President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over Odinga after votes from the vast majority of polling stations had been counted.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday alleged fraud in the country's general election, saying hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results in what he called an "attack on our democracy."
Odinga's allegations followed the release of election results showing President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over the opposition leader after votes from the vast majority of polling stations had been counted.
"Hackers gained entry into our election database" and "created errors," Odinga said at a news conference.
"You can only cheat the people for so long," the opposition leader said. "The 2017 general election was a fraud."
A top official in Kenyatta's Jubilee Party said the opposition's criticism of the electoral process was unfounded.
Associated Press writers Christopher Torchia and Tom Odula in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report.