“Please do not question the returning officers and slow down the process. If we do, we will not be able to end this exercise,” Chair Wafula Chebukati said during a press briefing on Friday.
“Agents, do your part: observe, make notes and then let the process go,” he added, threatening that disruptive individuals would be kicked out.
Three days after polls closed, 99.94% of results from polling stations have been submitted electronically, but only a small number have been verified and declared by the IEBC.
The wait has fueled anxiety across the country as Kenyans anxiously wait to find out the winner of the presidential race. Provisional results posted by major TV stations showed Raila Odinga and William Ruto neck and neck in the lead in the race. However, with more than 13 million of the nearly 14 million votes cast, broadcasters have stopped updating the tally as of Thursday night.
Poll officials designated under Kenya’s electoral law, known as returning officers, bring physical forms showing the results from across the country to the tallying center in the capital, Nairobi.
The presidential contest is widely seen as a two-horse race between Deputy President Ruto and veteran opposition leader Odinga, who was backed by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta for the top job.