Frustration grows over Kenya vote count delays

  • Now, Putrajaya denies giving RM100 million grant to bank-rejected firm

    Putrajaya today denied that it had awarded NSE Resources Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd (NSERC) a RM100 million grant, as claimed by a PKR leader. Malaysiakini reported that Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohd Diah today revealed the list of grant recipients by his ministry. The list, which has more than... …

  • Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit
    Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit

    Barack Obama will this weekend become the first US president to visit Malaysia for nearly 50 years, seeking to put decades of uneasy relations behind him as both cast wary eyes on a rising China. Obama – who visits Saturday-Monday – is expected to tout the US's friendship with the economically thriving moderate Muslim nation. As one of... …

  • Malaysian jailed 8 weeks for Singapore border dash

    A Malaysian motorist who tried to dodge Singapore's border control has been jailed for eight weeks after a judge rejected his pleas that he was lost and overheating in his car, officials said today. Koh Chin Had, a 42-year-old poultry seller, tailgated another car passing through a raised barrier on April 13, triggering a security lockdown on... …

  • KL school not allowed as Karpal memorial venue

    The Education Department has rejected the use of a school in Kuala Lumpur for a memorial service for Karpal Singh as it is perceived as a political event, said its organisers DAP in a press conference today. The memorial service was scheduled to be held tomorrow night at SJK(C) Chung Kwo near Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur, said acting DAP chairperson Tan Kok Wai. …

  • Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit
    Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit

    Student group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) is against US President Barack Obama's (pic) scheduled visit to Universiti Malaya on Sunday where he is expected to host a town hall session with young leaders from Southeast Asia. In a statement, the student group said that this was because Obama had disappointed many quarters, including... …

  • Cops to act on May 1 rally if 'public order threatened'

    The police would act against the May 1 anti-GST rally if it is found to be threatening public order, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department (CID) deputy chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa said today. Khairi ( at podium ) said so when pressed by reporters on whether the cops were planning to make any pre-emptive arrests ahead of the rally, in order to prevent the rally from going on as planned. …

The party of Kenyan presidential frontrunner Uhuru Kenyatta described as suspect Wednesday the inclusion of a mountain of spoiled ballots in results of elections two days ago, as frustrations grew over the slow pace of the count.

Monday's elections were the first since 2007 when a dispute over the counting process erupted into weeks of deadly violence that left more than 1,100 dead.

Leaders and election officials urged calm after hitches led the electronic tallying system to stall after votes from just over 40 percent of polling stations had been counted, giving Kenyatta 53 percent of valid votes with 42 percent to his closest rival, Raila Odinga.

With the gap small enough to be overturned, the inclusion of the large number of spoiled ballots in the count was becoming a key controversy.

Spoiled ballots make up more than five percent of votes cast so far and made public.

Their inclusion was motivated by a "sinister and suspect" logic, charged an official from Kenyatta's coalition, Charity Ngilu.

"The Jubilee Coalition is scandalised that sensible Kenyans can so much as think of including condemned ballots," she told reporters.

The inclusion of so many spoiled ballots in the count greatly adds to the number of votes needed for a candidate to break the 50 percent threshold for a first round win, raising the prospect of another round due within a month.

There was also concern over the widespread failure of a system by which the electoral commission had been broadcasting running tallies based on encrypted text messages received from polling stations.

After the system stalled midday Wednesday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) switched to reading out results delivered in person by returning officers.

With the electronic scoreboard removed, it was no longer possible to see who had an overall lead.

-- Final results Friday --

Later Wednesday, the IEBC said 140 of its 290 officers had returned to Nairobi and that the others were expected on Thursday.

"We will announce the official results on Friday," Commission President Isaak Hassan said.

Helicopters and chartered planes ferried election officials from far-flung counties to Nairobi to deliver results, with others coming by road.

At this rate, publication of country-wide results could still take days.

Kalonzo Musyoka, Kenyan vice-president and Odinga's running mate, said the party was worried at the "failure of the IEBC electronic registers as well as the huge numbers of spoilt votes".

But he urged supporters to keep the peace.

Odinga, the prime minister, says he was robbed of victory in 2007 when disputed results triggered the bloody ethnic violence.

Kenyatta faces trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity over the violence.

To win outright and avoid a second round runoff, a candidate must win "more than half of all the votes cast", according to the constitution, as well as at least 25 percent of votes in more than half of all 47 counties.

Kenya's Daily Nation warned in its Wednesday editorial that even though the elections were largely peaceful there was a potential "rocky road" ahead.

"Election-related violence last time occurred not during the peaceful voting and counting, but in protest after the announcement of suspect results following lengthy unexplained delays," it noted.

Many have complained at a lack of voter education ahead of the polls, one of the most complex Kenya has ever held with six ballots cast, including for governors.

"It's taking a long time, let's hope that they are not doing something fishy," said airport worker Jack Mwai.

The electronic systems that failed were designed to frustrate potential rigging and no major incidents have been reported so far.

Kenya has been largely calm in recent days apart from isolated incidents of violence, including clashes on the coast between police and attackers that killed 12, as well as several bomb explosions, wounding at least two.

The results of the last poll, pitting President Mwai Kibaki against Odinga, sparked a wave of protests, notably over the lack of transparency in the way the votes were counted.

Odinga and his rival Kenyatta -- the son of independent Kenya's founding president as well as one of Africa's richest and most powerful men -- have publicly vowed there will be no repeat of the 2007-08 bloodshed.

But the trials later this year at The Hague-based ICC for Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto have raised the stakes: should they win the vote, the president and vice-president could be absent for years.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • MB: Only 29 days of water left in Selangor Malaysiakini

    Although heavy rain led to flash floods in parts of the Klang Valley yesterday, the Selangor government has said that taps will run completely dry in 29 days if rationing is not continued. "For now, we must continue with rationing as the level at the main dam, the Sungai Selangor dam, is below the critical level and can only last 29 days if rationing is not conducted," Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said in a statement.   "We really hope the rakyat understands this situation and supports …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …