Kenyatta's party decries use of spoilt ballots in Kenya poll

The party of Kenyan presidential frontrunner Uhuru Kenyatta said Wednesday any suggestion that spoilt ballots should be included in the total vote count was "sinister and suspect".

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said that in accordance with the constitution rejected votes -- which so far account for more than five percent of votes cast -- count towards the total.

"The Jubilee Coalition is scandalised that sensible Kenyans can so much as think of including condemned ballots," Charity Ngilu, a senior member of Kenyatta's coalition, told reporters. "The logic behind this is sinister and suspect."

Their inclusion potentially makes the difference between an outright win or a second round run off.

Kenyatta is currently leading arch-rival Raila Odinga in partial preliminary results from Monday's poll.

Ngilu questioned whether including rejected ballots in the total vote count was "not tantamount to directly sabotaging the election."

Many have complained at a lack of voter education ahead of the polls, one of the most complex Kenya has ever held with six ballots cast.

To win outright and avoid a second round runoff, a candidate must win "more than half of all the votes cast", according to the constitution, as well as at least 25 percent of votes in more than half of all 47 counties.

The inclusion of spoiled ballots greatly adds to the number of votes needed for a candidate to break the 50 percent threshold for a first round win, raising the prospect of another round due within a month after the vote.