Vote tallying suspended in Kilgoris over alleged irregularities

Azimio Narok governor candidate Moitalel Ole Kenta

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Narok governor candidate Moitalel Ole Kenta

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

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Mr Kenta demanded a vote recount

Vote tallying in Kilgoris constituency was suspended temporarily after a governor candidate and his supporters stormed the centre claiming irregularities.

ODM governor candidate Moitalel ole Kenta, his deputy William Oltetia and Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina stormed the tallying centre and questioned the integrity of the counting, claiming that the process lacked transparency.

This prompted IEBC Returning Officer Lilah Lilumah to announce the suspension of tallying, describing the incident as unfortunate and warning that the concerned candidates would bear the consequences under the election code of conduct they signed.

The tallying is being conducted at Kilgoris Boys Secondary School.

"It is so unfortunate and I find such actions disturbing. I have communicated with the commission for a way forward. I’m still waiting for their response, but until then, I will suspend [tallying]," said Ms Lilumah.

She said the candidates should have followed due process to lodge their complaints.

She asked the candidates to point to the ballot box they had a problem with for the IEBC to resolve the issue instead of using unorthodox means.

The delay in relaying the Kilgoris constituency results means the three top county positions of governor, senate and woman rep will have to be put on hold until further notice.

But Mr Kenta demanded a vote recount in the governor’s contest for the sake of transparency.

"I have no personal issue with the returning officer. All I want is that a recount be conducted," he said.

The other five constituencies have submitted their results to the county tallying centre at Maasai Mara University.

In the results from those constituencies, UDA governor candidate Patrick Ntutu is leading with 135,650 votes, followed by Mr Kenta with 113,500.

Due to the delay in submitting the Kilgoris results, tension started brewing in the town.

The Maasai Council of Elders, led by chairman Kelena ole Nchoe, Joseph Karia (patron) and member Matiko ole Sadera, called on residents to exercise restraint as the issue was being resolved.

"As elders, we want peace in our county and for peace to prevail the IEBC should ensure that it does justice to all candidates," Mr Nchoe appealed.

The elders urged authorities to take prompt action and prevent the situation from getting out of hand.