Only Raila Odinga Can Give Kenyans The Future They Deserve

Uhuru speaking at the Deliverance Church Umoja

Kenyatta was leading with 55 percent of the vote to Odinga's 44 percent in results released by the electoral commission (IEBC), but with just 9,405 of the country's almost 41,000 polling stations counted, it was too soon to tell if the incumbent's lead would hold.

The torture and murder last week of a top election official and the deportation of two foreign Odinga advisers have fuelled wild online conspiracy theories and "fake news" items consumed voraciously by Kenya's tech-savvy population.

"We are praying. I am praying for peace", she said.

The worst-case scenario is an extremely close result, a failed electronic voting system, and a candidate who is not prepared to concede defeat.

From the Indian Ocean coast to Rift Valley towns to Nairobi's slums, Kenyans turned out in large numbers to vote Tuesday in an election pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga in this East African economic hub known for its relative, long-term stability and ethnic allegiances that shadow its democracy.

"I have come here to vote because good leadership comes from God", Lydia Gathoni Kiingati said.

The two leading candidates' fathers Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Odinga were allies in the struggle for independence, but later became bitter rivals, setting the stage for decades of political rancour.

Kenyan are voting on Tuesday in the elections pitting Odinga against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In 2007, more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced after a disputed election - an outcome neither side wants to see repeated.


Over 309,000 registered voters in Embu County started streaming into polling stations as early as 4 am ready to cast their votes.

The victor of the presidential race must get more than 50 per cent of the votes as well as a quarter or more votes in at least 24 of Kenya's 47 counties, according to election officials. Nairobi, the capital, has emptied as people have crowded onto buses to their rural homes-some because they are registered to vote there, but many because they fear post-election violence.

"The Kenyan people as a whole will be the losers if there is a descent into violence", he said.

The government deployed more than 150,000 security personnel, including wildlife rangers, to protect 41,000 polling stations. "But obviously, the transition from voting to counting is going to be critical and there is a process in place for that too".

The election is organized by Kenya's Independent Electoral And Boundaries Commission.

"The choices you make in the coming days can either set Kenya back or bring it together", Mr. Obama said. "We also call for impartial and human rights compliant conduct of the police and security forces as a cornerstone for peaceful elections".

"This one is mine", said mother Joan Awuor, as the fingernail of her sleepy 3-month-old son Ricken was marked when she voted.

Kenyans are voting to elect the president, members of the senate, county governors, county women representatives, members of county assemblies and members of parliament in 40,883 polling stations across the country.

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