Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Kenya elections: Early Kenyatta lead over Odinga

 Title page: Behind the Kenya elections

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The BBC's Sophie Ikenye reports from Nairobi, where every ballot paper is held aloft to try and ensure the election's transparency
Kenyans are awaiting results in their country's presidential election, after millions cast their votes on Monday.
With over a third of polling stations reporting, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta held an early lead over his main rival, PM Raila Odinga.
The head of the electoral commission emphasised these were provisional figures and urged Kenyans to wait patiently for the final outcome.
In 2007-8, more than 1,000 people were killed in post-election violence.

More than 250,000 spoiled ballots have been counted so far, the IEBC noted with concern - double the number of votes cast for the third-placed candidate, Musailia Mudavadi, who trailed far behind with just over 138,000 votes, or 3%.
Some put this down to confusion, with voters having six ballots papers to complete.
None of the other five candidates for the presidency had more than 1%.
To win outright, a candidate must get 50% of votes cast plus one vote, as well as at least 25% of votes in half of Kenya's 47 counties. If no-one achieves that, the vote will go to a run-off, probably on 11 April.
In a news conference, IEBC chairman Issack Hassan called for people to "resist making early judgments about who has won", and said final results would not be released within 48 hours.
He said candidates and parties were under obligation to "accept the results peacefully".
There are fears the loser might not accept the official result, triggering an outburst of violence.
Widespread failure of newly instituted biometric voting kits, reports of late voting at one polling station hours after polls closed officially, and an instance of a poll clerk issuing multiple ballots have all already been cited by Mr Odinga's party as cause for concern.

Raila Odinga vs Uhuru Kenyatta

Raila Odinga (l) Uhuru Kenyatta (r)
"These we find to be placing in jeopardy the credibility of this process," said Frank Bett from Mr Odinga's Cord alliance.
Both leading candidates have pledged to respect the result of a free and fair vote.
'Consequences' Mr Kenyatta will stand trial at the ICC for his alleged role in the 2007 unrest, when clashes between rival supporters degenerated into targeted attacks on members of ethnic groups linked to one or other candidate.
Mr Odinga later joined a government of national unity under a peace deal.
The US and other Western allies of Kenya have warned of possible "consequences" if Mr Kenyatta wins.
However, Mr Kenyatta's running mate, William Ruto, who also faces charges of crimes against humanity, insisted on Monday that they would be able to discharge their duties if elected and would co-operate with the ICC to clear their names. Both deny any wrongdoing.
Lines of voters stretched outside polling stations across the country on Monday and many polling stations stayed open late into the night. Turnout was estimated at 70%.
Four policemen were among the 19 killed in election-day violence mainly blamed on the separatist Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), which had demanded the elections be scrapped.
Gunfire and explosions were also reported in the town of Garissa, near the border with Somalia. Gunmen stormed two polling stations after voting ended, but were forced to retreat by security forces, the deputy speaker of parliament told Associated Press.


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