Kenya’s election commission suffered a hacking attempt after this week’s vote but the system was not compromised, its chairman said on Thursday.
“Hacking was attempted but did not succeed,” commission chairman Wafula Chebukati told a news conference.
He did not elaborate.
NAN reports that on Wednesday, opposition candidate Raila Odinga said hackers broke into Kenya’s election commission computer systems and database overnight, leading to “massive and extensive” vote fraud that nullified the published victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta maintained his strong lead in the presidential election count with 85 per cent of polling stations reporting.
Its website showed Kenyatta with 54.8 per cent of the vote against 44.3 per cent for opposition leader Raila Odinga, a margin of nearly 1.4 million votes.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Human Rights Commission said that it had discovered some discrepancies in an initial comparison between provisional results announced by the election commission and paper forms signed at polling stations by party agents.
It cited five examples, including a polling station in western Nandi county where the electoral board’s website recorded 439 rejected votes but the paper form only had four.
The commission is a well-known non-governmental organisation.
NAN reports that in 2007, tallying was stopped and the incumbent president declared the winner, triggering an outcry from Odinga’s camp. The ethnic and political violence that followed killed 1,200 people and displaced 600,000.
International Criminal Court cases against Kenyatta and his now-deputy, William Ruto, for helping direct that violence, collapsed as witnesses died or disappeared.
In 2013, Odinga took his concerns to court.
This time, he invoked the unsolved torture and murder of a top election official days before the vote to justify his fears of rigging.
“We fear this was exactly the reason Chris Msando was assassinated, so this could happen,” he said.
Kenya’s shilling firmed and bond prices rose on early results, but analysts said gains could be fragile.
“Kenyatta’s provisional win will soothe those investors who feared a leftist shift in economic policy,” said Hasnain Malik, global head of equities research at Exotix Capital.
“The most important issues are ahead of us: Does Odinga concede peacefully? His initial rhetoric suggests there is a risk he does not.”