Kenya’s electoral commission chairman has admitted the election commission’s database was the target of an unsuccessful hacking attempt.
The comments on Thursday by Wafula Chebukati came after allegations by opposition leader Raila Odinga that hackers infiltrated the database and manipulated results in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta following Tuesday’s vote.
Chebukati says “hacking was attempted but did not succeed” and that the tallying of final results is continuing.
Kenyatta holds a strong lead with votes from 97.6 percent of polling stations counted.
Peace has also returned to the streets after Wednesday’s violence that saw at least five people killed.
Odinga, 72, who claimed elections in 2007 and 2013 were stolen from him, charged that hackers broke into the election commission’s systems and rigged the count – an allegation that fuelled uncertainty in what was already a tight race.
Odinga’s claims were enough to spark isolated protests in his strongholds in several Nairobi slums and the western city of Kisumu on Wednesday.
International observer missions and a team headed by former US Secretary of State John Kerry called for calm and restraint on Thursday.
“I am vouching that there is in place a process which will allows integrity to be measured and that can ultimately resolve disputes with respect to the question of hacking or any other situation here,” Kerry said in a press conference.
Kerry also told Al Jazeera that the allegations need to be examined but “not a reason to stop the process or question the entire election”.
“The [counting] process is still ongoing, the counting is happening now. And as long as it’s done appropriately, you have an ability to have full integrity of this election. The integrity is still intact.”
Odinga called the partial results “an attack on our democracy”.
“The 2017 general election was a fraud,” said Odinga.
Nairobi’s slums were tense but calm on Thursday, as was Kisumu’s flashpoint Kondele suburb, a day after police fought running battles with stone-throwing protesters.
This time, the government deployed more than 150,000 security personnel, including wildlife rangers, to protect 41,000 polling stations.
Source: Al Jazeera