Trouble-free election result would protect Kenya rating – S&P Global

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By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Kenya’s B+ credit rating and stable outlook won’t be affected by its election as long as there is no repeat of the deadly violence that broke out after the country’s 2007 vote, the S&P Global agency said on Wednesday.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta looks on course to have won Tuesday’s national elections, but opposition leader Raila Odinga has claimed hackers broke into election commission computer systems overnight, leading to “massive” vote fraud.

His comments are reminding investors of the ethnic violence that followed Kenyan elections a decade ago, killing 1,200 people and displacing 600,000. That vote was also contested by Odinga’s camp. Odinga urged supporters to remain calm on Wednesday, but added: “I don’t control the people”.

“As we are seeing now, it (election) has gone fairly smoothly so it is an issue of contestation with the result,” S&P’s Kenya sovereign analyst Gardner Rusike told Reuters.

“We don’t expect there will be a repeat of 2007, and if we do see contestations they will be less and more managed than 2007.”

Asked whether that would see the outlook remain stable, he added “Yes that is correct.”

Reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Sujata Rao

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