Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki was sworn in after being declared winner Sunday amid reignited violence around the country after a tight, tense race came to a dramatic end.
Nairobi (dpa) - Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki was sworn in after being declared winner Sunday amid reignited violence around the country after a tight, tense race came to a dramatic end.
Kibaki took his oath of office mere hours before his term as president was to expire Sunday night.
"I stand before you humbled and grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve you again as your president for a second five-year term," Kibaki said.
"I urge all of us to set aside the passions that were excited in the reelection process and work together as one people."
Leaders had appealed for calm before Kibaki was declared winner, but local media reported riots had erupted in parts of the capital Nairobi, as well as in Kisumu, a stronghold of defeated opposition candidate Raila Odinga.
Smoke billowed from Kibera, East Africa's largest slum, while enraged residents of Kisumu attempted to storm the central police station, local station NTV reported.
Kibaki won by some 200,000 votes over Odinga, who had led by a razor-thin margin of 38,000 until Sunday evening.
The 76-year-old won 4.58 million votes to Odinga's 4.35 million and was declared winner following a tumultuous three days after Thursday's polls that saw ethnic violence break out countrywide between rival supporters and elicited accusations of incitement and graft from both sides.
"This means honourable Mwai Kibaki is the winner. The commission declares honourable Mwai Kibaki the president of Kenya," said Samuel Kivuitu, the chairman.
Odinga was ahead in most opinion polls before the vote as well as in the ballot counting and his supporters have alleged Kibaki's win is due to vote rigging, alleging some 300,000 votes added to his tally.
A spokesman from Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) would not comment on the results but said things among the ODM members were "not so good."
Earlier, Kivuitu was rushed out of the commission's briefing room by more than 20 paramilitary police when disputed presidential results sparked outrage among disgruntled rival supporters and disrupted the commissioner from announcing the final result.
Violence has marred the lead-up to the announcement, with at least three people killed in clashes by protesters demanding the results be announced speedily.
Tribal fighting was also sparked, with Odinga's ethnic Luo supporters and Kibaki's Kikuyu backers burning homes and looting stores in slums around the capital Nairobi.