Post-election violence continues in Kenya
Jan 02: After the general election on December 27, 2007 in Kenya which declared Mwai Kibaki re-elected, violence erupted in large part of Kenya after the rumours of rigging poll result spread. The four days long riot has taken the death toll to over 275 that has been the most unfortunate incident in African history.
After 2002, this is the second general election in which President Mwai Kibaki under the Party of National Unity ran for re-election against the main opposition party leader Raila Odinga the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Most of the pre polls survey gave Odinga a leading victory except the poll on November 23 which placed them on the same level.
Finally the count began on the poll conducted on December 27, the initial result showed Odinga leading over Kibaki but as the count continued Kibaki came out as victorious.
The result did not go well with Odinga and his supporter, as Odinga declared himself as the people’s President and demanded for recounting the votes, whole nation awake to the jolt of massive and violent ethnic protest.
As the rumours of rigging the election poll is doing the round riots and stray bullets continue killing number of innocents. In many places the violence took toll of Kikuyu tribe mainly in Odinga’s strong hold.
On January 1, it was reported that a mob set afire a Church in which 30 Kikuyu tribes were burnt to death.
Under Mwai Kibaki as President after 2002 election which was adjudged as free and fair election, Kenya saw a string of change be it in education or economy. It also remains peaceful as compared to other neighboring nation.
International Community appeals for calm
Western powers have asked for peace and reconciliation, African Union Chairman John Kufuor is on the way to Kenya to initiate peace dialogue in violence stricken Kenya.
Calling for an end to the violence both United Kingdom and United States have appealed two of the Kenyan leaders: Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga to find out a legal and political solution to their differences.
Many international agencies had termed the election to be flawed including the European Union’s head observer in the election, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff. In fact the chairman of Kenya's electoral commission, Samuel Kivuitu himself cast doubt over the validity of President Kibaki's re-election.
The European Union election observers have also cited several concerns with the amount of high voter’s turnout, use of public resources by ruling candidates, media restriction and lack of transparency thereby failing to meet the international democratic standard of a free and fair election. They also demanded an independent investigation of the result.
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