NAIROBI — Kenya was calm Wednesday as the nation awaited results from the country’s presidential election. The electoral commission says Kenyans will have to wait a few more days to know their next president as the electoral agency checks and tabulates more than 46,000 official result forms across the country.
Kenyan media outlets reported that current Deputy President William Ruto holds a slim lead over former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the early results from Tuesday’s presidential election.
But there were still millions of votes to be counted, and the country’s electoral commission said a final result is still days away.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said it has to follow electoral rules and the constitution before announcing the winner.
The chair of the commission, Wafula Chebukati, urged Kenyans to be patient as vote-counting continues.
“So all these processes must be done and all after that then we shall declare the president-elect or give way forward of the results for the presidential election. The issue of saying we should declare results today, that would not happen today. We have seven days to do that but as a national returning officer, I’m assuring you we will do everything possible to have this process concluded at the earliest possible time,” said Chebukati.
To win the presidential race, a candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote and 25% at least in 24 counties out of the country’s 47. If no candidate meets that goal, the electoral commission will schedule a runoff vote.
The commission said that 22 hours after polling stations closed, they had yet to receive all the physical forms used to tabulate the election results. The commission must go through more than 46,000 forms before making the final result.
Chebukati said despite the slow delivery of forms, the ones uploaded to the electoral commission website are final.
“As a commission, we have been very clear. We are saying this is a transparent process and anybody can log in on the public portal. We have made it available to presidential agents, to candidates, the media. You can log in, verify what’s there and the only assurance we are making is that the information in the public portal is the same results the commission will use to complete this process,” said Chebukati.
The electoral commission said about 14 million of Kenya’s 22 million registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday.
The voter turnout rate of about 65% was significantly lower than in Kenya’s last presidential election in 2017, when about 80% voted.