Kenya election: Provisional results show tight race amid low turnout

Official results have yet to be announced, but the two leading candidates are running neck and neck in results tallied by local media. Disappointingly, Tuesday’s election witnessed a low voter turnout compared with 2017.
Preliminary results from Kenya’s presidential election have shown a very tight race between the two main front-runners, Vice President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
At the time of publication, the Daily Nation, one of Kenya’s highest circulation newspapers, had Ruto leading with 51% and Odinga with 48%. The other two candidates — George Wajackoyah and David Waihiga — had not managed to get past 1%.
In a tweet, Odinga’s running mate Martha Karua urged supporters to remain patient.
On the other hand, Ruto said Tuesday that he was confident of victory and called on Kenyans to remain calm during the whole electioneering period.
Official results are yet to be announced, but the winning candidate must get 50% plus one of the total votes. Counting and tallying of votes is still ongoing.
Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has to declare results from 290 constituencies. Due to a laborious process, there aren’t many results available yet from the commission.
Once votes are counted, returning officers must take a photo of the final tally sheet and send the image to both the constituency and national tallying centers.
But the media, political parties and civil society groups continue to compile their tallies using results declared at the more than 40,000 polling stations.
The final result from the IEBC is expected in days, but the commission has up to a week to declare the official results.
On Tuesday, Kenyans also voted for legislative and local authority representatives.
This year’s voter turnout was lower than in 2017
Tuesday’s vote was characterized by low turnout, with some Kenyans failing to come out to participate in the electoral process. In addition, voter apathy was rife before the election, particularly among the country’s youth, who form the majority.
According to the IEBC, about 60% of the 22.1 million registered voters cast their ballots. On the contrary, turnout was nearly 80% in the previous election in 2017.
Odinga, 77, is vying for the top seat under the Azimio La Umoja Coalition. It’s his fifth try after previous defeats in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.
Odinga’s main rival, Vice President William Ruto, 55, is a candidate for the Kenya Kwanza political alliance. He has built a power base among the country’s largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu, despite not being from the community himself.
The two are vying to take over from outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has already completed two terms and cannot contest again, according to Kenya’s constitution. However, Kenyatta has backed his former rival, Odinga, to replace him after falling out with his deputy Ruto.

Source: Nam News Network

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