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Kenyan Presidential Challenger Calls Vote Tally 'Fake'

An electoral counting officer counts votes while others hold the piles of ballots counted for each candidate, at a polling station in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday.
An electoral counting officer counts votes while others hold the piles of ballots counted for each candidate, at a polling station in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday.

With most of the ballots counted in Kenya's election, President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken a wide lead over opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Odinga on Tuesday rejected the results displayed by the election commission, saying, "They are fictitious, they are fake."

The commission's website showed Kenyatta with about 55 percent of the vote and Odinga with 44 percent after votes were counted in two-thirds of the 40,833 polling stations.

NPR's Eyder Peralta, reporting from Nairobi, says the presidential campaign in Kenya was marred by an attack on the vice president's home and the brutal murder of the man in charge of the country's electronic voting system.

Eyder reports:

"Needless to say, tensions are running high in the country. In the days leading up to the vote, Kenyans stocked up on essentials at the supermarket. Many of Nairobi's informal settlements, which are known for their ethnic diversity, began to empty as Kenyans took buses to their tribal homelands where they feel safe."

Kenyatta and Odinga also faced off in 2013, an election that Kenyatta narrowly won. Odinga alleged voting irregularities in that election as well, but the country's high court ruled in Kenyatta's favor.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.