Kenya votes in tight race to elect subsequent president

Polls opened Tuesday in Kenya’s extraordinary presidential election, as a longtime opposition chief backed by the outgoing president faces a self-described vice chairman.

Elections are shut, and East Africa’s financial hub may see a presidential run-off for the primary time. A whole bunch of voters lined up hours earlier than polling stations opened in some places.

The 2 main candidates are Raila Odinga, who has contested the presidency for a quarter-century, and Vice President William Ruto, who has emphasised his journey since his humble childhood to draw thousands and thousands of struggling Kenyans lengthy accustomed to political dynasties.

Greater than 22 million folks have registered to vote in these elections through which financial points could also be of better significance than the ethnic tensions that characterised earlier elections with generally deadly outcomes.

Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president, crossed the standard ethnic traces by supporting his longtime rival Odinga after a bitter competitors within the 2017 elections. However each Odinga and Ruto selected two companions from the nation’s largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu.

Odinga made historical past by selecting as Vice President Martha Karua, the primary lady to compete for the place of Vice President.

Rising meals and gasoline costs, big authorities money owed, excessive unemployment and rampant corruption imply that financial points are on the coronary heart of an election through which unregulated marketing campaign spending has highlighted the nation’s inequality.

Kenyans hope for a peaceable vote. Elections might be exceptionally turbulent, as occurred in 2007 when the nation imploded after Odinga claimed that the vote was stolen from him and greater than 1,000 folks had been killed. In 2017, the Supreme Courtroom annulled the election outcomes, the primary of its type in Africa, after Odinga challenged them over irregularities.

He then boycotted the brand new vote and declared himself “President of the Individuals”, citing excessive treason. A handshake between him and Kenyatta calmed the disaster.

It will possible be Odinga’s final try on the age of 77, and Kenyans and election observers shall be watching to see how his typically ardent supporters react to the outcomes and any allegations of fraud.

Official outcomes needs to be introduced inside every week of the election, however impatience might be anticipated if they don’t seem to be introduced earlier than the tip of this week. The underfunded Unbiased Fee on Elections and Boundaries is below strain to make sure an undisturbed vote.

(France 24 with AP)

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