Kenya attorney general calls for probe into alleged election fraud

Kenya attorney general calls for probe into alleged election fraud

[JURIST] Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako [official profile] called Thursday for an independent investigation of the disputed reelection of President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] amid continued violent protests. In a public statement [text] carried in the Nairobi Daily Nation newspaper, he warned that Kenya “is quickly degenerating into a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions” and that the situation, if left unchecked, “will tear apart the economic and social fabric of…Kenyan nationhood.” Citing accusations of election fraud raised by Samuel Kivuitu, Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya [official website], Wako insisted that “a proper tally of the valid certificates returned and confirmed should be undertaken immediately” by an independent and mutually agreed-upon body. Reuters has more.

The controversial presidential vote has sparked simmering ethnic tensions in Kenya [JURIST news archive], where Kibaki has long been accused of using his position to favor members of the Kikuyu tribe. Fueling accusations of malfeasance, Kibaki won the election despite early opinion polls that placed rival candidate Raila Odinga [campaign profile] in the lead. Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets [JURIST report] Sunday and Monday prompting the government to temporarily ban public rallies. Odinga [party website] has boycotted crisis talks with the reelected president. Post-election violence, including the mob burning of a church in the town of Eldort, has so far caused over 300 deaths and displaced nearly 70,000 people.