NAIROBI (Reuters) - The running mate of one of the two front-runners in Kenya’s presidential vote said on Thursday the ballot count lacked integrity and should stop, comments that could inflame what has so far been a largely peaceful election.
The remarks by Kalonzo Musyoka, running alongside presidential hopeful Prime Minister Raila Odinga, will revive painful memories for Kenyans of the 2007 vote, when disputes over the count sparked ethnic violence that killed 1,200 people.
But Musyoka told reporters that his comments were not a call for mass action, and he urged voters to stay calm and patient.
Odinga is trailing the leader, Uhuru Kenyatta, in the partial count three days after polls closed. Authorities said on Wednesday the outcome would not be compromised by the failure of electronic counting technology that has slowed down the tally.
“We as a coalition take the position the national vote-tallying process lacks integrity and has to be stopped and re-started using primary documents from the polling stations,” Musyoka told a news conference.
“We have evidence the results we are receiving have been doctored,” he said.
“It is not a call to mass action,” he added. “We must tell them (Kenyans) there will be no mass action. We are committed as a coalition to the principle of the rule of law.”
Kenyatta’s team had no immediate comment but has also questioned aspects of the voting process, but without making a direct call for the count to be halted.
Musyoka questioned the sharp in fall in the number of spoiled ballots counted as Kenya switched from an electronic tallying system to a manual one.
The number of those ballots in the initial electronic tally, which has now stopped, could have had a significant impact on the outcome.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of votes in the first round, the top two will go to a run-off, provisionally set for April, depending on any legal challenges.
Reporting by Richard Lough; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Will Waterman