Kenya Elections: After an impressive turnout vote-counting starts in tight presidential race
By Nadia Lehmann & David Joakim Wedholm
When Kenyans went to the polls on Monday they were accompanied by 99 000 police officers. Post-election violence in 2007 displaced some 600.000 people and left more than 1.100 dead. Today, five years later, everyone is hoping for peaceful elections and the two rivals for the presidency, Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Coalition), urged Kenyans not to turn to violence. However, the first few hours of the vote were overshadowed by attacks against security forces in Mombasa and Kilifi, killing 19 people.
Although eight candidates vied to succeed Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in Monday’s election, a neck-and-neck-race between Odinga and Kenyatta is expected, in which one of them would need to secure an absolute majority, necessary to avoid a second-round runoff. High voter turnout, topping 70% (out of 14 million registered voters), left voters patiently queuing and some polling stations longer open. Kenyans not only elected their fourth president since independence in 1963, but also chose members of parliament and senators, county governors and members of the newly formed county assembly. As vote-counting begun, results are anticipated to be announced in seven days by the electoral commission.
More on Kenya’s elections:
Interactive Dashboard on Aljazeera: www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2013/03/20133112123533362.html
Background Analysis on The Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/04/kenya-election-six-piece-suit
Presidential Candidates’ Profiles on BBC: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21630105