Kenyatta declared winner in Kenyan polls


President Uhuru Kenyatta after he was declared winner on Friday. Net photo

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has won a second five-year term, the country's electoral commission announced Friday evening.

The incumbent was declared winner by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission after garnering 8,203,290 votes (54.2 per cent) while his closest rival, Raila Odinga secured 6,762,224 votes.

To win the hotly contested election, Kenyatta required to attain at least 50 per cent plus one vote as well as 25 per cent of the votes in half of Kenya's 47 counties.

President Paul Kagame was among the first leaders to congratulate Kenyatta via popular social media platform, Twitter.

“Congratulations my brother @UKenyatta for a successful election and the trust Kenyans have placed in you!” he wrote on his timeline.

He added in Swahili: “Pamoja tuzidi kujenga umoja na maendeleo ya mataifa na jumuiya yetu,” (let’s continue building the unity and development of our countries and region).”

In his victory speech, the 55-year old called upon Kenyan citizens to put their political differences aside and jointly pursue progress and development for their nation.

He implored them to desist from violence and rather engage themselves in nation building efforts.

"Elections come and go. Kenya is here to stay. Let us always remember that we are brothers and sisters. Let us reach out to one another. Let us share together," President Kenyatta said.

His main rival, Odinga is yet to concede defeat and has threatened to go to court to challenge the outcome of the polls, citing rigging allegations.

The country’s electoral commission body has since denied the allegations.

Multiple observer missions accredited to cover the elections including the African Union, East Africa Community, Carter Centre and Commonwealth have termed the process as free and fair and lauded the country for holding violence-free elections.

The observers have advised the opposition and aggrieved parties to seek legal redress as opposed to calling for mass action.  

According to sources in Kenya, following the announcement, loud celebrations were held across the country with citizens braving the cold in revel of the victory.