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Kenyans Vote For New President in Crucial Election.

Kenyans turned up to vote as early as 4am Monday morning in various polling stations in the country’s historic elections. Voting started at 6am in most of the polling stations but there were hitches in some.

6:00am-- Polls open

The polling stations will be open from 06:00 to 18:00 local time (03:00-15:00 GMT).

7:00am--Long queues

Since a disputed 2007 Presidential election triggered a horrific ethnic conflict, Kenya has done much to guard against a recurrence. The constitution was rewritten, with power delegated to newly created states, a new Supreme Court and Electoral Commission were created, and an anti-hate-speech law was adopted. The economy has boomed, thickening a rising middle class and giving more Kenyans a stake in preserving the peace. A close vote is expected, with a second round likely in the spring.


Facts about Elections

  • 14 million registered voters
  • Eight presidential candidates
  • 99,000 Police officers being deployed
  • First election under new constitution
  • Winning presidential candidates need 50% of vote + 25% in half of 47 counties
  • Voters will get ballot papers for 6 different elections


Election observers have described the election as the most important in the country's history. Election monitors have also expressed optimism that the vote will go smoothly and peacefully.  It is the first time a vote has taken place under a new constitution, designed to prevent a repeat of violence that followed the 2007 polls. More than 1,000 people died when supporters of rival candidates clashed over a contested result.

Kenyans will choose a president, members of parliament and senators, county governors and members of the newly-formed county assembly. Eight candidates are standing but it is essentially a two-horse race pitting Prime Minister Raila Odinga against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, he says.

Mr Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding father Jomo Kenyatta, is due to stand trial at the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in orchestrating the violence five years ago.

IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Haasan said that:

"We as a commission have put in place a lot of efforts to ensure we’ve got officers, we  have got systems that can ensure a credible and transparent elections.  We would like to urge these politicians and candidates to give the commission the opportunity to prove and make sure these elections are done peacefully."


Official results will be announced by 11 March by the electoral commission.

If no candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote there will be a run-off on 11 April.




Africa Team

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