Isaack Hassan (2ndR), chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), addresses a press conference at the Bomas of Kenya national tallying centre.
By ALPHONCE SHIUNDU firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Thursday, March 7 2013 at 19:19
The chairman of Kenya’s electoral commission Issack Hassan has attributed the big reduction of rejected votes in the on-going manual tallying process to a bug in the commission’s database.
Addressing a news conference at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on Thursday evening, Mr Hassan said a bug in their database kept on multiplying the rejected votes by a factor of eight.
The database was developed in-house by the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission.
Mr Hassan said the programming error was as a result of a conflict between the IEBC server and the database.
“There was an error in the way the programme was written… For any rejected vote for any candidate, they were being multiplied by eight,” said the IEBC chairman.
As at 6.30pm last night, the IEBC had counted 6,031,500 votes, and the tally of rejected votes was at 58,409.
When the results were being transmitted electronically from the polling stations, the database had recorded 338,592 rejected votes out of a total of 5,653,852 votes cast.
The high number of rejected votes –which kept rising as the counting continued—made political parties jittery about their possible impact on the final tally of votes.
For a candidate to be declared a president, they must have more than half of all the votes cast in an election and at least 25 per cent in more than half of the 47 counties in the country.
By 6:30 pm Thusrday, the IEBC had officially announced results from 132 constituencies.
Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta was in the lead with 3,134,654 votes, Mr Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy had 2,563,286, Musalia Mudavadi had 174,348, Peter Kenneth 34,409, Martha Karua 19,945, James ole Kiyiapi 19,365, Mohammed Dida 16,536 and Paul Muite 6,705.
The high number of the rejected votes had made the IEBC promise to do an audit on the cause of the spectacle.
Some of the observers at the Bomas of Kenya had attributed the high number of rejected votes to an uneducated electorate, given that they were supposed to vote for six elective positions, with numerous candidates.
There are also those who said the colour-coding of the ballot boxes and ballot papers had had an effect in the rejection of votes.