At least 5 die in electoral violence in Kenya

Nairobi, Aug 3 (EFE).- The run-up to the Aug. 9 general elections has seen at least five campaign-related fatalities and more than 50 “cases of violence,” according to a report issued Wednesday by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).

Two of the deaths were due to vehicle accidents, but the other three victims died “from injuries allegedly inflicted by opposing political factions,” the document said.

While expressing confidence in an orderly transfer of power following the elections, the KNCHR pointed to the possibility of violence from people disappointed with the outcome.

“Based on the history of our nation, the divisive and highly competitive politics that the country is currently witnessing, and the Commission’s own analyses of the hotspots across the country, there is a likelihood that in strongholds of some of the candidates who will lose in the 2022 General Election, disgruntlement and civil unrest might ensue,” the report says.

In 2007, challenger Raila Odinga refused to accept the victory of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and the dispute led to violence that claimed more than 1,100 lives and drove upwards of 600,000 people from their homes.

The 2022 race is between Odinga, a former prime minister whose four previous bids for the presidency failed, and Deputy President William Ruto.

The 77-year-old Odinga, who has the backing of outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, leads Ruto in the polls by 47 percent to 41 percent. If neither receives 50 percent plus one of the vote next Tuesday, the election will go to a runoff.

Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission warned in May that six counties, including those which are home to the country’s major cities, are at high risk of experiencing violence on election day. EFE lbg/dr

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