Kenya Opposition Claims Victory

Slow pace of results leads to looting, fires
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2007 8:56 AM CST
Kenyan riot police run bast burning barricades, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007 during riots in the Kibera slum in Nairobi. Kenya's opposition declared victory Saturday in the presidential election on the basis...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The party of opposition leader Raila Odinga, a wealthy businessman with a populist platform, has declared victory in Kenya's hotly contested election, but the slow pace of the vote tally has led to rioting in the slums of Nairobi. After a largely peaceful campaign, machete-wielding gangs have looted and torched storefronts. "We do not want violence, we want our rights," said one Odinga supporter marching in the streets.

This is only the second truly democratic election in East Africa's richest nation after 30 years of one-party rule. Odinga has at least a four-point lead over President Mwai Kibabi, and more than a dozen of Kibabi's ministers have lost their seats as well, but the party is waiting for the official results before conceding. Said a spokesman: "Kangaroo results given by any Tom, Dick, or Harry deserve every contempt."