NAIROBI — Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges of committing crimes against humanity, won Kenya’s presidential election by the narrowest of margins, winning 50.03 percent of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to preliminary results posted early Saturday.
The tight finish is almost certain to spark controversy and will probably result in a legal challenge from Kenyatta’s main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, whose party has already publicly charged that votes were doctored. Kenyatta reached the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff by only 4,099 votes out of more than 12.3 million cast. Odinga secured 43.28 percent of the vote in an election contested by eight candidates.
The tally still needs to be confirmed by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which said that it would officially announce the results of the election at 11 a.m. Saturday in the capital, Nairobi.
On Saturday morning, ahead of the announcement, news agencies were quoting Odinga advisers saying that he would not concede the election and that if Kenyatta was officially announced as Kenya’s next President and that a court challenge would be launched.