, NAIROBI, Kenya March 9 – Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was elected Kenya’s new president after beating his bitter rival Raila Amollo Odinga in a hotly contested election.
Official results released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission showed that Kenyatta had won 50.03 percent of the vote to become the country’s new leader 50 years after his independence hero father, Kenya’s founding president.
The 51-year-old outgoing deputy prime minister — charismatic, able to appeal to all classes and one of Africa’s richest men garnered 6.173 million votes out of a total of 12.338 million votes, effectively achieving slightly more than the required 50 percent plus one threshold after the Monday vote.
His main challenger Odinga of the CORD coalition polled 5.34 million votes – or 43.28% of the total votes cast.
Kenyatta’s 50.03% thresh-hold keeps him just inches away from being declared Kenya’s fourth president to take over from Mwai Kibaki who has served for two uninterrupted terms.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said Friday night that it would announce the final results at 11 am on Saturday.
Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo said the IEBC needs to audit and verify results for 50 percent plus one and 25% in half of Counties before final declaration.
“The Commission has made a decision to announce the results today at 11:00 a.m. This is to allow the political party and the Commission to look at the constitutional requirements on declaring a winner,” he said, adding that “We want to make sure that our figures are accurate and we want to consult the political parties; that the figures are accurate and there is no need to rush.”
Prime Minster Raila Odinga who had called a press conference shortly before the commission completed vote tallying, cancelled it until Saturday morning when the results will have been announced.
Officials in Kenyatta’s campaign team told Capital FM News that the President-elect would be making his acceptance speech soon after the results are announced.