Wednesday, August 4, 2010

LIVE: 'Yes' opens wide lead in Kenya referendum

Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan during a briefing on the Kenya referendum at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, August 4, 2010.  Photo/WILLIAM OERI

Interim Independent Electoral Commission chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan during a briefing on the Kenya referendum at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, August 4, 2010. Photo/WILLIAM OERI 

By NATION TEAM

13:04 Provisional tally so far: YES-5,234,547 (69.27 per cent), NO- 2,322,169 (30.73 per cent). Official tally of 92 out 210 constituencies at 3,003,302 for Yes and 1,217,846 for No.

12:02 Yes team declares referendum victory saying it marks the birth of a new republic.

11:35 President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to hold a press conference to acknowledge the results of the constitutional referendum today at 4pm at KICC, Nairobi. A statement on the Government spokesman website, however, says the conference and its timing is tentative and is in anticipation of the formal announcement of the results by the IIEC

They will be joined by members of the Cabinet and other leaders. Members of the Public are welcome to the event at KICC grounds.

The Press Conference and its timing is tentative and is in anticipation of the formal announcement of the results by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.

11:18 The No team will be addressing a news conference at 12:00 this afternoon.

11:04 We now have nearly a third of the final official votes cast per constituency. 62 out of 210 constituencies have returned their findings so far. It is likely we will have the final tally by the end of the day. Provisional results are standing at 4,179, 867 for Yes and 2,072,151 for No.

08:50 IIEC started announcing the official final results per constituency a while ago. So far, results for 37 out 210 constituencies have been posted. Official tally at 1,287,757 for Yes and 527,282 for No.

04:30 IIEC is in the process of collating results as it awaits those from far flung constituencies.

04: 13 "Congrats to IIEC. For their transparency.... GOD bless Kenya," Lucy McKenzie on Facebook.

04:03 Latest results: Yes 4,147, 194 (67pc); No 2,057,181 (33pc).

04: 01 Now even the police at Bomas are dozing, quiet murmurs in the near empty hall.

03: 58 Nambale results: Yes 33, 859; No 5,734; Gatundu South- Yes 32,422; No 10,209.

03: 53 The results from constituencies are coming in at Bomas as the first group of returning officers arrive under heavy guard by Administration Police.

03:46 Kayamba Africa unplug their music equipment. Looks like it is going to be a long three hours to daybreak in the capital. Bomas is cold, really cold.

03: 39 Nation's Alphonce Shiundu: Bomas goes to sleep. The results are almost static at the moment. The tunes playing in the public address system turn to blues and soft reggae.

My goodness, it is getting boring and we are slowly thinking of taking naps on metallic chairs. Ouch! Still stuck at 6,043 polling stations. Turnout at 71.52 per cent. That's impressive. The waiting continues

03: 30 "Kenyan have decided," Edward Kariuki Gatuso on Facebook.

03: 20 Starehe constituency results: Yes 68, 815; No 25,529, rejected votes 4,612.

03: 10 IIEC updates at the Bomas of Kenya being translated to Kenya Sign Language for deaf persons in the country, reports Joy Wanja.

03:02 No team sends a message of peace to Kenyans and calls upon the country to be calm. "We have serious misgivings on the integrity of the tallying. We have set up our own mechanism to validate the results, NCCK secretary general says in a statement.

"Meanwhile, let us hold together peacefully and handle issues in a civilised manner."

02: 53 IIEC says it is getting results through Form 17 which will be used to get the final tally.

02: 50 The group announces that it will issue a comprehensive statement on Thursday at 11 a.m.

02: 48 The No team resurfaces and says they are still unhappy with conduct of the referendum and claim their agents were ejected from the Starehe Hall tallying centre.

02: 45 "Kenya has decided! The nation has been reborn. GOD BLESS KENYA," Nelson on Facebook.

02: 35 Latest: Yes 4,133,226; No 2,051,89 representing a total of 6,185,116. A total of 14,681 polling stations have reported.

02: 13 The audience in the Bomas of Kenya auditorium is fast diminishing as many of those invited go to sleep. The only minister remaining in the tallying hall is Trade Minister Amos Kimunya. The only MP in the hall is John Mututho (Naivasha).

Nation journalists Walter Menya, Joy Wanja, Emeka-Mayaka Gekara, Oliver Mathenge and Alphonce Shiundu  have been at the national tallying centre from 8.00am Wednesday, it is 0200hrs Thursday and they are still going strong giving the world blow by blow account, by the numbers, as the results trickle in from the constituencies. Surely, they’ll need leave as soon as the official results are announced. They also won’t mind a mind-blowing bash. What do you think?

02:04 IIEC's Ken Nyaundi promises another update soon.

02:02 As IIEC made the announcement, the No camp was absent and so were the diplomats. The number of international and local observers also dwindled as the night wore on.

01:59 Commissioner Davis Chirchir says the data is from 14, 563 polling stations out of the 20,750 targeted at the poll.

01:55 IIEC says soft copies of raw data have been received from polling stations and submitted to all referendum national committees.

01: 45 Central Yes (831,464), No (152,565); Coast Yes (217,459), No (57,271); Eastern Yes (550,539), No (421,921); Nairobi Yes (591,747), No (210,892); North Eastern Yes (80,163), No (3,497); Rift Valley Yes (642,191) No (1,041,759); Nyanza Yes ( 731,156), No (62,642); Western Yes (467,866), No (88,834).

01: 40 "Its time for yes so let mi compose a söng of victory in advance let the world know this," Caro Ngugi on Facebook.

01: 30 IIEC provisional results as at 1.30am: Yes 4,112,674 (66.9pc); No 2,039,416 (33.1pc) with 14,563 polling stations reporting.

01: 23 One hour consultative meeting between Yes and No teams agree that IIEC continues discharging its mandate by announcing results as they come in, says Mr Wetang'ula.

01: 20 Latest: Yes 4,102, 736 (66.8pc), No 2,035, 576 (33.2pc).

01: 05 "If yes is going to win then we are going to open a new Kenya. That means that people have made the right decision," says Joseph Mwenja on Facebook.

01:00 Latest results: Yes 4,100, 958 (67pc), No 2,035, 052 (33pc).

00: 52 Ten agents from both sides locked in a meeting to resolve the matter. Problem started when Yes figures spiralled to 66 per cent creating consternation in the No camp, statement issued by Peter Kagwanja, a co-leader of the Yes secretariat.

00: 50 The No camp protests over use of modern technology in transmitting provisional results, the Nation's Oliver Mathenge reports.

00: 40 "Kenyans are people with dignity and maturity! Bravo!" Halima Hassan on Facebook.

00: 27 Kenya's oldest voters back new constitution... http://bit.ly/d4Yy8u

00: 13 "We are impressed by the way IIEC is handling the exercise...kudos," Enoch O Ogara on Facebook.

00:04 Percentage turnout stands at 71.38 per cent, total valid votes 5,030, 815, while disputed votes are 1,238. 7,594 polling stations yet to file results.

00:00 Provisional figures: Central Yes (715,906), No (123,865); Coast Yes (185, 733), No (47,571); Eastern Yes (472,001), No (360,067); Nairobi Yes (266,900), No (107,316); North Eastern Yes (63,290), No (3,060); Nyanza Yes (723, 303), No (60,825); Rift Valley Yes (449, 373) No (899,896).

23: 53 A lull in proceedings and those converged at Bomas turn to Kayamba Africa for action as some take to the dais while others remain content with tapping their feet to the beat of the music, reports the Nation's Joy Wanja.

23: 45 Latest: Yes 3,337, 204 (66.4pc) No 1, 690, 699 (33.6pc).

23: 33 Trade minister Amos Kimunya, former Finance minister David Mwiraria and lawyer Charles Nyachae among those taking in entertainment from Kayamba Africa, files Emeka-Mayaka Gekara.

23: 23 IIEC calls for meeting involving ten representatives from the Green and Red teams in a tent outside the tallying centre. Commission's CEO James Oswago says meeting aimed at ironing out issues raised by the Reds, the Nation's Emeka-Mayaka Gekara reports.

23: 15 Latest provisional results: Yes (3,003,103) representing 66% of the vote, while No stands at 1,523,356 or 34 per cent .

23: 10 "Let God will be. Thank Kenyans 4 keeping peace," Pinhas Karanja on Facebook.

23: 04 Ministers James Orengo and Anyang' Nyong'o join other Kenyans at Bomas to keep vigil, reports Oliver Mathenge.

22: 58 The IIEC boss says that "political parties do not conduct elections and it is the work of the Commission to conduct the referendum. Let us conduct the referendum independently and respect our authority".

22: 55 Mr Hassan, however, says that the Commission will continue issuing provisional results and says they are committed to ensuring a free and fair referendum.

22:53 Hassan: Final results will be released when all returning officers are physically present at Bomas.

22: 52 IIEC Chairman Isaack Hassan insists that they are only releasing provisional results, as of now.

22: 50 "Back to the drawing board now. When does inplimantation (sp) begin?" Riz Andre on Facebook.

22: 45 Disputed results are 1,015, while those rejected are 98,506. Results are from a total of 12, 474 polling stations.

22: 40 Results: Central Yes (645,043), No (107,569); Coast Yes (175,045), No (44,087) ; Eastern Yes (426,799), No (326,134); Nairobi Yes (144,499), No (66,624); North Eastern Yes (59,140) No (2,802); Nyanza Yes (717,005), No (59,255); Rift Valley Yes (363,637) No (822,708); Western Yes (454, 924), No (87, 922).

22: 34 Ms Onyango speaks moments after a group of No camp MPs accuse the IIEC of displaying rigged results. The Agenda 4 teams comprise of the NCIC, IIEC, Committe of Experts (CoE) and Boundaries Review Commission, reports Emeka Mayaka Gekara.

22: 32 "Both the Green and Red teams should respect voice of Kenyans and if there are any issues they should be sorted out amicably through dialogue," says Mary Onyango, the deputy chair of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.

22: 30 Agenda 4 commissions urge politicians to accept the referendum outcome as announced by IIEC.

22: 24 Foreign minister Moses Wetang'ula and Nairobi businesswoman Esther Passaris also keeping a close eye on proceedings.

22: 20 Former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile exchanges a hearty discussion with National Executive Council CEO Cyprian Nyamwamu as they monitor the tallying, reports Alphonce Shiundu.

22: 17 The total number is 4, 497,986 representing valid votes, while those rejected are 98, 319. A total of 1,004 votes are in dispute.

22:15 Latest results still favour Yes (2,982,313) while No stands at 1,515, 673 out of 12, 468 polling stations.

22:02: Security beefed up at the entrance of the Bomas auditorium as trips to the tea points by those present in a bid to keep the cold at bay increase. Most people dressed warmly as they converse with a cup of coffee or tea on their hands. Shawls and caps are a favourite, with most, if not all present to witness the historical event, notes Joy Wanja.

21:52: Provisional results currently show the Yes side at 66 per cent (2,975,308) against No's 34 per cent (1,511,786). 12,456 polling stations counted so far

21:49: US ambassador Michael Ranneberger and Japan ambassador Shigeo Iwatani share a hearty discussion near the centre of the auditorium. Nation Media Group's CEO Linus Gitahi arrives at the Bomas of Kenya.

21:44 "We have noticed irregularities as anticipated but we call on our supporters to be calm as we address the issue with IIEC," Canon Peter Karanja said. Mr David Koech, the national chief agent of the No camp accused the media of swapping 'No' results for 'Yes'. Mr Koech also questioned why No results were dropping dramatically as the Yes figures were rising. He further claims that their No agents have been reduced to spectators. He advised media houses to broadcast only the IIEC provisional results.

21:44 The No Campaign addresses a news conference outside the Bomas auditorium and accuses IIEC of cosnpiring with the Yes campaign to rig referendum results. They say the exercise is marred by irregularities. NCCK secretary-general Peter Karanja declares that the No referendum committee "won't accept rigged results."

21:20: Vote tally at 2,968,325 for Yes against No's 1,509,105. Total 4,476,822. Polling stations are 12,444 out of 20,750 targeted polling stations. The rest will file results manually. More than half of the targeted polling stations are, therefore, in

21:15 The angry No MPs are joined by NCCK secretary-general Peter Karanja and former MP Njeru Kathangu. They are in a meeting with IIEC chairman Isaack Hassan. Police were on high alert and averted an ugly confrontation.

21:10: Tally as at now: Yes 2,680,897 No 1,393,604. Total: 4,074,501. There now 11,859 polling stations whose votes have been counted, out of over 27,000 centres.

21:08: Assistant minister Linah Jebii Kilimo and MPs Julius Kones and David Koech confront IIEC officials and accuse them of rigging elections in favour of the 'Yes' campaign. The MPs question the technical hitch in the transmission of results. The MPs claim their agents have been sidelined. Dr Kones says their intelligence on the ground shows that the No team is ahead in Eastern, Rift Valley Provinces by a big margin. Nation's Emeka-Mayaka.

21:01: Total tally now is Yes 1,876,469 No 1,060,996. Total votes counted 2,937,465

21:01: Results per Province: Central: Yes 297,868 No 45,430. Coast: Yes 93,089 No 24,211. Rift Valley: Yes 214,962 No 597,556. Eastern: Yes 280,290, No 215,393. Western: Yes 297,477 No 58,447. North Eastern: Yes 43,322 No 1,689. Nyanza: Yes 507,162 No 41,525. Nairobi: Yes 98,954 No 48,480.

20:50: Provisional results coming up now: Yes has 1,791,196. No 1,006,513. Total votes cast 2,797,709. Rejected 57,613.

20:44: Dr Julius Kones of No camp says the results are encouraging and that with time the No side will be able to catch up. He is at the venue with the No chief agent, David Koech, who is the Mosop area MP. "Anxiety goes down and the tune changes to 'Habana', a south African tune. Being belted out by ladies with beautiful voices" says Alphonce Shiundu.

20:39: 56, 568 votes have been rejected. Clapping going on in the auditorium as Yes supporters sitting in the podium cheer. Provincial results now scrolling on the screen. 664 votes are in dispute.

20:35: IIEC chairman says the screen displays to resume. And the mood there is expectant, says Emeka-Gekara.

20:30: IIEC announces provisional results for the referendum vote, of the 8,911 polling centres counted so far. 1,745,633 for Yes (63.8 per cent) and No with 990,088 (36.2 per cent). Total votes 2,735, 721. Counting continues

20:25: Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni strolls into the auditorium adorned in a cream suit and a matching cowboy hat, cream as well. Former KNCHR chair Maina Kiai lives to his legendary African attire, this time dressed in a Nigerian Agbada, notes Walter Menya.

20:19: Technical hitch in the display of results now enters the first hour. No explanation forthcoming from the IIEC. It is now about 20 minutes from the earlier promised 8:00pm press briefing. The display was supposed to have resumed 20 minutes ago - Nation's Emeka-Mayaka Gekara

20:02: "Relaxing and soothing African ballads by Kayamba Africa dressed in brown printed shirts and black trousers entertain guests at the Bomas of Kenya as crowd awaits IIEC update any time from now" - Joy Wanja

19:59: Head of EU delegation Eric van der Linden, chairman of Kenya's Boundaries Review Commission Andrew Ligale and French ambassador to the country Elisabeth Barbier are at the Bomas of Kenya venue.

19:57: Nation online reader Paparazzione comments: "I love NMG for keeping us informed. I am out of the country and sadly missed this historic moment. Thanks Kenyans for being peaceful. Reforms will make us the best in the world! God Bless Kenya."

19:54: She adds: "Public Service minister Dalmas Otieno arrives adorning a black scarf and an overcoat to keep away the cold night chill." Well, it is a cold night here, and has been chilly for most of the day here in the city.

19:49: Joy Wanja says: "Gichugu MP Martha Karua arrives warmly dressed at the Bomas of Kenya. Deputy secretary-general NCCK Oliver Kisaka and combative rights activist Okoiti Omtata also present at the venue."

19:43: IIEC has so far received results from 9,000 polling stations. All are still queuing in their system. Commissioner Davis Chirchir says results coming in at two polling stations per second. Structured formal update to be issued by 8:00pm

19:30: Display of results on the big screen at Bomas of Kenya momentarily halted. Committee of Experts on the constitution (COE) director Ekuru Aukot, Vision 2030 director Mugo Kibati and British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire arrive. KACC director PLO Lumumba also at venue.

19:18: IIEC says results from 5,000 polling stations countrywide already queuing up in their system and are looking for a way to give an interim tally to Kenyans in the next 35 minutes.

19:15: Nation's Joy Wanja: Bishop Mark Kariuki and Dr Gerry Kibarabara saunter into the auditorium.

19:12: Bomas of Kenya: Traditional dancers entertain observers, political party representatives, diplomats and the media as results continue to trickle in by the second. Journalists are struggling to keep up with them as they await the IIEC briefing in about thirty minutes.

19:07: From Facebook, Kui Cally Kariuki says: "All the media needs (is) to stop announcing until everything has been counted.. This is how post-election violence starts. Everyone reports something different and it may not be what most people want to hear! I thought the media wanted peace? How...can it be attained & maintained when all the reports are going on? Give Kenyans a break & let them get to hear only the last results!" What do you think?

19:00: Nation reporter Oliver Mathenge says multiple results all around the country are coming in at the same time at the National Tallying Centre at Bomas. The tally updates will be up shortly.

18:50: IIEC says it's pleased with the turnout - above 50 per cent in all regions

18:47: The Bomas of Kenya auditorium is filling up with guests, including two Members of Parliament Charles Keter and Charles Kilonzo, diplomatic corps, observers, local and international media, members of public and Agenda 4 commissioners.

18:30: IIEC chairman Isaack Hassan is currently giving a lowdown of voter turnout across the country by 3pm Wednesday. Most of the regions had recorded over 50 per cent turnout by the time with Nyanza's Kisumu region with the highest (90 per cent) and Kisii (85 pc). Baringo North had one of the lowest turnout figures at 10 per cent. He says most stations opened in time, at 6am or slightly after that. There are a few polling stations that are still voting.

18:24: 131 polling stations. Yes 8806, No 12,405. No still in the lead, though the results are nothing near definitive. There are about 27,000 polling stations in the country and the results so far reflect a tiny percentage of the overall figure.

18:20: Out of the results we have so far, there is a difference of 4,000 votes between the No and the Yes side, with the No side in the lead. And it is looking like we may have most of the results by the end of the night, if the pace continues.

18:18: Of 119 polling stations Yes has 7739 and No 11692.

18:12: The results are coming in fast and furious from the IIEC tallying centre. And it looks like the No side is on the lead so far. Out of 109 polling stations that have submitted their results. Yes has 7,371 and No at 10,539.

18:00: IIEC Yes at 7078 No -5386, total 12464, Disputed votes 2 Rejected 151. 79 polling stations so far counted.

17:56: From IIEC tallying centre at Bomas of Kenya - Out of 43 polling stations that have forwarded their results so far, Yes has 2530 versus No's 2133 vote

17:45: Some 40 people were locked out from voting at the Parochial School at Nairobi's Holy Family Basilica. Nation's Sam Kiplagat reported earlier that they came in two minutes after voting closed. While tallying has already began at the centre, the people are still demanding that they be allowed to vote. He contends that it will be impossible given that they were not even on the queue when the polling closed.

17:32: Nation reporter Alphonce Shiundu says Bomas of Kenya, the National tallying centre, is still quiet, there are about 100 observers and witnesses who are already seated in. The tallying centre is expected to host about 4,000 people who will be monitoring the vote counting.

17:20: KITUI PRISON polling station in Kitui Central Constituency was first to finish tallying: YES 27 (71pc); NO 7 (26pc) out of 38 registered voters.

Unofficial results from 200 of 19996 Polling Stations. YES: 55% (65200) 40% (35000). Source NMG results

17:19 Voting closed in almost all polling stations countrywide about 20 minutes ago. Tallying began at the same time