Raila opens gap against Kibaki in State House race Story by NATION Team Publication Date: 2007/12/29 ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga had Friday evening opened a 900,000 votes lead over President Kibaki as counting of presidential ballots entered the second day. With about half of the votes tallied, Mr Odinga was leading with 3.3 million against the Presidents 2.4 million votes. Mr Odinga, the son of a Kenyas first vice-president and opposition leader Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was ahead of President Kibaki in Nyanza, Western, Coast and Rift Valley provinces. President Kibaki was leading in Central and Eastern while the two were sharing the votes in Nairobi. Kenyan law requires a winning presidential candidate to not only score a majority vote but also be elected MP and secure at least 25 per cent of the presidential vote in at least five of the eight provinces. Both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga appeared to satisfy these requirements. Retired president Daniel arap Mois campaign for President Kibaki in Rift Valley Province appeared not to have convinced voters even in his own Baringo backyard, where results from several polling stations showed Mr Odinga leading. Mr Mois sons, Gideon, Jonathan and Raymond, who were running for seats in the Rift Valley lost. Announcing winners On Friday, Mr Odinga complained to the ECK about what he described as delays in announcing the winners saying this was causing unnecessary anxiety among Kenyans. ECK commissioner Jack Tumwa explained that the commission had to verify and certify results before making them public. Protests, incidents of violence and claims of attempts to introduce suspect ballot papers or tamper with the seals of ballot boxes were reported in Dagoretti, Kajiado North, Starehe, Embakasi and Kamukunji constituencies. In some incidents, police had to use tear gas and shoot in the air to disperse rioting mobs. NGOs asked the Electoral Commission of Kenya to speed up the release of election results. They said the delay was causing unnecessary anxiety and tension between the presidential, parliamentary and civic candidates and their respective parties. In a statement, the National Convention Executive Council and Centre for Law and Research International, wondered why the media centre set up by ECK at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, was way behind the media houses in giving the public updates of who was winning where and by what margin. Era of technology The statement was also signed by Haki Focus, Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Culture and Community Based Development Services. In this era of technology, it is surprising that ECK seems to be moving at a snails pace in satisfying public hunger for information. There is no reason why ECK could not release provisional information as they wait to receive final confirmation of those results, the lobby groups said. But they commended the commission for a job well done in organising and conducting General Election, saying that despite the anxiety and the high stakes in the polls, Kenyans had displayed a high level of tolerance and maturity throughout the voting period. And in Kisii, police are seeking to interview outgoing Kitutu Chache MP Jimmy Angwenyi following a shooting incident that left one voter dead and another injured at a polling station Friday. The police want him to record a statement as they launched investigations into the incident that paralysed tallying of votes in the constituency. Tallying of votes The man was shot as a group surrounded Mr Angweny who was leaving Marani polling station where tallying of the votes was underway. The gunshot sent the crowd fleeing in all directions as the man whose identity could not be immediately established remained writhing on the ground with blood gushing from his stomach. Seconds later another gunshot rang out outside the gate to the polling station, causing further stampede. A young man was found crying in pain with a gaping wound in the foot. He was later taken to hospital while the body of the shooting victim was taken to a mortuary. Following the incident, ECKs district elections coordinator Naftali Otuke rushed to Marani and personally took charge of the final phase of the exercise as the crowd waited impatiently outside. The process was yet to be concluded by 5pm. Mr Angwenyi, a PNU candidate, was one of the leading contenders for the Kitutu Chache seat, but by the time of the incident, his rival Richard Onyonka of the Peoples Democratic Party was ahead in the race.