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Kenyan observer group says projections tally with election result

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(Al Jazeera) Nairobi, Kenya – An independent observer group has said the results of Kenya’s August 9 presidential election as announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), are in line with its own projections.

At a news conference on Tuesday morning in Nairobi, the capital, the Elections Observation Group (ELOG) said it received data from over 5,000 observers deployed across 290 constituencies in the country’s 47 counties.

“Of these, 1000 Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) observers were carefully recruited, specially trained and deployed to a nationally representative random sample of polling stations,” Anne Ireri, the group’s chairperson said.

“ELOG’s PVT estimates are consistent with IEBC’s official results for the 2022 presidential elections,” she added. “In light of our assessment of the Election Day processes and given that IEBC figures fall within the projected ranges, the PVT projections, therefore, corroborate the official results.”

The August 9 elections were neck to neck with Deputy President William Ruto just ahead of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in results announced by IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati late on Monday, August 15.

The group’s projection gave William Ruto 50.7 percent to the IEBC’s 50.49 percent with a margin of error of +/-2.1 percent; for Raila Odinga, it was 48.7 percent for the IEBC’s 48.85 percent with a margin of error of +/-2.1 percent.

Projections for the two other candidates George Wajackoyah and David Mwaure were 0.44 percent and 0.23 percent respectively, compared with the IEBC’s 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent .

ELOG is a coalition of more than a dozen organisations including the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) think-tank and the influential National Council of Churches in Kenya, an umbrella body for Protestant organisations in the country.

At the news conference, ELOG also said it noted improvements in the voting mechanism and transfer of results but that “administrative and external problems persisted such as postponement of some elections” in some areas.

There was controversy before the announcement of the results on Monday, with four of the IEBC’s seven electoral commissioners leaving the national tallying centre to stage a news conference in another part of Nairobi.

Led by its vice chairwoman Juliana Cherera, the quartet said they could not support the “opaque nature” of the final phase. “We cannot take ownership of the result that is going to be announced,” she said, giving no other details.

In response, ELOG said it was also waiting for more details as promised by the commissioners, but was certain its scientific methodology was in order.

“We had ours two days before [IEBC announcement], “ Reverend Elias Agola, a representative of the nonprofit Legal Resources Foundation, another ELOG member, told Al Jazeera.

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