Kenya’s elections chief declared Deputy President William Ruto the winner of a tight presidential race on Monday but, amid chaotic scenes, four other senior election officials said the week-long count was too opaque and disowned the result.
Ruto had appeared to be leading long-time opposition leader Raila Odinga as Kenyans awaited final results of the election held nearly a week ago.
Minutes before the chairman of the electoral commission Wafula Chebukati announced that Ruto had won the vote, his deputy Juliana Cherera had told media at a separate location that she and three other commissioners disowned the results.
“We are not able to take ownership of the results that will be announced,” she said.
Diplomats and international election monitors were whisked out of the tallying hall before Chebukati spoke, as scuffles broke out.
Amid fears that vote-rigging allegations could lead to bloody scenes like those that followed presidential polls in 2007 and 2017, Cherera urged the parties to pursue any disputes through the courts.