AFRICA/KENYA - Presidential elections: Bishops warn against unreliable projections

Friday, 12 August 2022 elections   bishops  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - The results of the presidential and parliamentary elections held in Kenya on August 9th have not yet been published. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) has not yet announced when it will announce the winner. However, unofficial and sometimes conflicting media projections show that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and outgoing Vice President William Ruto are in close competition.
Regarding the unofficial media extrapolations, the Catholic bishops warn that "while the IEBC has a constitutional obligation to announce the results, other actors have been authorized to make parallel counts.
We ask all those who do so to inform their audience that these results are provisional. The public should not be misled".
Meanwhile, the Kenyan Bishops' Conference has published a prayer asking the Lord to guide the work of the members of the IEBC. "Lord, we pray that you will lead them to fulfill this task with diligence and courage. May you pour out your Holy Spirit upon them to be strengthened to peacefully complete this mission and to fulfill the very purpose for which it was intended. Lord, kindly hear our prayer".
In a statement at the end of May, the Bishops "urged political leaders to behave civilly and avoid language that could fuel ethnic hatred and violence. We remind our leaders that political competition should never fuel ethnic hatred or allow political opponents to settle scores through violence and threats. Our politicians should know that elections come and go, but our nation will live long after we are gone. We must protect it for present and future generations".
So far no serious incidents or violence have been reported but in the country there remains the memory of the very serious clashes with thousands of deaths that followed the elections of December 2007. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 12/8/2022)