US envoy says Kenyan vote was rigged; opposition calls off rallies ahead of mediation

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The chief U.S. envoy for Africa says Kenya's presidential election was rigged, and both political parties may have been involved.

Jendayi Frazer tells The Associated Press there were problems with vote counting in the election, which returned President Mwai Kibaki to power. Today, opposition leader Raila Odinga decided to cancel nationwide protests over the vote, saying he wanted to avoid more bloodshed and give mediation a chance.

Nearly 500 people have been killed in political and ethnic violence since the elections.

Fresh reports of killings in the countryside are coming in today. An official in neighboring Uganda says 30 people trying to flee Kenya were thrown into a border river by attackers, and are presumed dead.

The U.S. envoy has spent three days negotiating with political rivals and had won an offer from Kenya's president to form a unity government. The opposition leader then said he was willing to drop demands that the president resign and was willing to discuss sharing power.

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