Supporters of Kenya's opposition party shout slogans as they set fire to barricades in Kisumu on Aug. 9, 2017, during a protest of election count figures. (Kevin Midigo/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of Kenya’s opposition party shout slogans as they set fire to barricades in Kisumu on Aug. 9, 2017, during a protest of election count figures. (Kevin Midigo/AFP/Getty Images)

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta took what appeared to be an unassailable lead in the ballot count Wednesday even as his opponent called the election results fraudulent, raising fears of political violence after a bitterly contested race.

Kenyatta had about 54 percent of the vote counted, far ahead of opposition leader Raila Odinga at about 45 percent, with 93 percent of votes counted, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

But the morning after Tuesday’s elections, Odinga called the outcome “a complete fraud,” outlining an elaborate hacking scheme that he said dramatically manipulated the results. According to Odinga, a hacker used the login information of a top election official, Chris Msando, who was mysteriously murdered last month, to enter the country’s electoral database.

He told his supporters not to accept the outcome. Sporadic, mostly small-scale demonstrations popped up in parts of western Kenya and Nairobi, and police fired tear gas to break up at least one protest in the city of Kisumu.

The hacker, Odinga claimed, “took control of the entire network” and dramatically altered the results.

The electoral commission said it was not prepared to dismiss Odinga’s claim outright. It also emphasized that the results released so far were provisional. Final results that could be released any time in the next seven days would offer more substantiation, the commission said.

But election officials did not explain how the near-complete results already released online could differ dramatically from a more formal tally. Amid the confusion, less popular presidential candidates accepted the results as accurate and conceded to Kenyatta.

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SOURCE: Kevin Sieff  
The Washington Post