Home WORLD AFRICA Kenya: Odinga leads the presidential race, according to partial official results

Kenya: Odinga leads the presidential race, according to partial official results

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At the beginning of the afternoon, Mr. Odinga totaled 52.54% of the votes (2,288,315 votes), compared to 46.76% (2,036,795 votes) for Mr. Ruto, in 29.92% of the offices vote, according to official results broadcast from Nairobi, where the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) collects, counts and verifies the results.

The final results must be announced by August 16 at the latest, as provided by law. If neither of the two favorites collects more than 50% of the vote, Kenya will experience a second round of the presidential election for the first time.

Still waiting

If Kenya is considered an island of stability and growth in the heart of a tormented region, the results of all the presidential elections since 2002 have been contested, sometimes violently.

Four days after 22.1 million Kenyans were called to the polls, the country is still waiting to know the name of the successor of Uhuru Kenyatta who, after serving two terms since 2013, is not eligible to run a third.

William Ruto's face on an election billboard.

Passers-by walk through the town of Eldoret, the stronghold of William Ruto.

Photo: Getty Images/Ed Ram

Four candidates were in the running, but the election boiled down to a duel between two favourites: Raila Odinga, 77, a veteran opposition party who received support from Mr Kenyatta for his fifth presidential bid, and William Ruto, 55, outgoing vice-president.

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Five other polls were organized on Tuesday to choose in particular parliamentarians, governors and 1,500 local elected officials.

The leader of theIEBCWafula Chebukati, acknowledged on Friday that the results count was not going not so fast provided that.

The electoral commission must collect the results from more than 46,000 polling stations and then verify them. He must also stifle rumors of hacking or other incidents relayed massively on social networks.

Kenyan media interrupts vote counts

On Friday, several Kenyan media interrupted the live vote counts they were conducting on their side, which raised questions and impatience in the population.

This move was not dictated under pressure, David Omwoyo, head of the Kenya Media Council, said on Friday evening, who assured that the media were working together to synchronize their estimates.

We are at a really critical moment and the media plays a key role in the process. As the media, we are not going to be responsible in the event of chaoshe added in a press release.

Part of the 50 million inhabitants remain suspended from the media, like these street vendors in Nairobi glued to their radio and in a hurry to know the outcome of this long campaign dominated by the weight of inflation.

Evelyn Oduor, a 35-year-old seamstress, can’t wait for life to get back to normal. We are very tired. We are not going to work. Our students are at homeschools remaining closed until August 18, she testifies from the city of Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria and stronghold of Odinga.

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Two and a half hours away, in the stronghold of William Ruto, the town of Eldoret had normal activity.

The longer the wait for results, the more impatience increases. The memory of past post-election battles, sometimes particularly bloody, also comes to mind.

Commitment to results

In 2007-2008, the contestation of the results had thus led to inter-community clashes which had left more than 1,100 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, the deadliest chapter since the country’s independence in 1963.

During the campaign, Messrs. Odinga and Ruto said they would respect the results of free and fair elections, pledging to bring any grievances to justice and not attempt to resolve them through violence.

According to all local and foreign observers, the 2022 election went well overall despite a few isolated incidents.

This election was marked by a sharp drop in turnout: according to theIEBCaround 65% of the 22.1 million voters turned out to vote on Tuesday, a sharp drop from the 78% recorded in the August 2017 poll.

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