Monday, January 07, 2008

US Envoy: Kenyan Elections Rigged

As the body count continues to rise in Kenya, the US Envoy, Jendayi Frazer, said that there were voting irregularities and fraud. He also noted that both parties could have rigged the vote.
The vote count from Kenya's election was rigged, but both parties could have been involved, the chief U.S. envoy for Africa said Monday, declining to blame either President Mwai Kibaki or the opposition leader who ran against him.

The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, canceled nationwide protests, saying Monday he wanted to avoid new violence and give mediation a chance to resolve the election standoff that has killed nearly 500 people in political and ethnic bloodletting.

``Yes, there was rigging,'' the U.S. envoy, Jendayi Frazer, told The Associated Press. ``I mean there were problems with the vote counting process ... both the parties could have rigged.''

She said both rival parties could have been involved and that she did not want to blame either Kibaki or Odinga.

Frazer, who has spent three days negotiating with Kibaki and Odinga, said at an earlier news conference that Kenyans ``have been cheated by their political leadership and their institutions.'' In particular, Frazer said, the electoral commission was flawed and needed reform.

The commission chairman has admitted that he is not sure Kibaki won the vote.

Reports of ethnic killings continued to stream in from the countryside, with an official in neighboring Uganda confirming 30 Kenyan refugees were thrown into the border river by attackers, and were presumed drowned.

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