Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Kenyans Stockpile Food Ahead Of Vote

Scenes from the church service attended by the President Scenes from the church service attended by the President
Dexter Carr | 09 August, 2017, 00:21

This time around, a new electronic system commissioned by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will be used to count the votes.

Fears of widespread violence have been stoked by last month's brutal murder of a senior Kenyan election commission official and many other violent incidents, as well as concerns about fraud and voter-machine failure.

"We urge the leadership of the various political parties to respect the outcome of the elections and to use the existing legal channels to address grievances".

A run-off is possible but seen as unlikely by pollsters, with six other, little-known presidential candidates garnering barely one percent of the vote between them.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, 72, who lost elections in 2007 and 2013, has already said President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, can only win if his ruling Jubilee party rigs the vote, a stance that increases the chances of a disputed result and unrest.

KENYANS go to the polls today in one of Africa's biggest-ever elections.

Mr Kenyatta, voting in his birthplace of Gatundu, north of Nairobi, said: "I feel good".

Kenya's president and opposition leader both held election rallies outside their ethnic strongholds this week, as the candidates push harder to win votes in areas dominated by their rivals. The blast revoked fears of the 2007 post election violence that left more than 1,100 people dead and 600,000 displaced.

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The election commission has said that about 25 per cent of polling stations will not have network coverage, meaning officials will have to move to find a better signal and transmit results by satellite telephones.

Eight candidates will battle it out in the presidential race, 1,892 candidates will be seeking to be elected as Members of Parliament, 11,857 candidates vying for Member of County Assembly, 211 gubernatorial candidates, 256 senatorial candidates and 299 seeking Woman representative positions.

"Peace. Peace. Peace", said Kenyatta, who seeks a second and final term in office.

Kenyatta, who was deputy Prime Minister in the election's aftermath, was at the time also accused of fuelling ethnic violence, a case for which he was summoned to the International Criminal Court, only to have the charges dropped due to a lack of evidence.

"Me, as a person, I need change, I want change", she said.

The men belong to two of Kenya's main ethnic groups, Kenyatta from the Kikuyu, the largest, and Odinga from the Luo.

The contest pits Kenyatta against his long-time rival, Raila Odinga, and is seen as too close to call. It was still early, he said, but what has been tricky historically in Kenya is the counting. "As a church, we aim to bring people together". But only Kenyatta and Odinga, two men whose fathers led Kenya to independence nearly 55 years ago, retain any real hope of winning.

Bomas of Kenya is the national tallying center for the general elections. Nonetheless, around 180,000 police officers have been deployed around the country ahead of Tuesday's elections, reports the Guardian.

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