28/09/2022

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Kenyans await consequence of election outcomes

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Kenyans waited feverishly Wednesday for the outcomes of the elections held the day earlier than to search out out whether or not veteran Raila Odinga or incumbent Vice President William Ruto can be their subsequent president.

The 2 favourites, out of the 4 candidates within the race, have assured that they’ll acknowledge the outcomes. However the nation feared on Wednesday that it could as soon as once more be caught up in a well-recognized post-election saga, with each election since 2002 contested on this East African nation thought-about a democratic anchor within the area.

Except one of many candidates receives greater than 50% of the vote and is immediately elected, the 2 main candidates will face one another in a second spherical inside 30 days.

The strain is subsequently mounting on the Impartial Election Fee (ICBC), which should declare the outcomes by August 16.

Its officers labored onerous all through the evening, beneath the eyes of 1000’s of observers, to proceed the rely and allay fears of rigging.

By 06:00 (03:00 GMT), greater than 90% of the presidential outcomes kinds had been obtained and the 2 heavyweights seemed to be neck and neck.

The method may very well be lengthy earlier than the ultimate outcomes, nonetheless, and the IEBC warned on Tuesday evening that Kenyans must be affected person.

“We’re working to finish” the counting and verification of outcomes “as quickly as potential,” mentioned IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

The IEBC, which is beneath much more strain after it was already incriminated for irregularities within the 2017 polls, can even have to elucidate the technological failures and different incidents which have occurred since Monday, which have included the cancellation of six native polls.

– “No change” –

Kenyans went to the polls to decide on Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor — a member of the influential Kikuyu neighborhood in energy since 2013, but in addition their parliamentarians, governors and native elected officers.

The day of voting was “comparatively calm and peaceable,” in line with police.

Regardless of the lengthy queues that stretched into the morning, usually earlier than daybreak, turnout seemed to be down in some areas. Of the 22.1 million voters, simply over half had forged their ballots by 4:00 p.m. (13:00 GMT).

Two favourites have emerged within the presidential race.

The primary, Raila Odinga, 77 and a member of the Luo ethnic group, is the opposition chief supported since 2018 by Kenyatta’s occasion, in a shocking however typical transfer in Kenya’s extremely risky politics.

The second, William Ruto, a 55-year-old sulphurous businessman, a Kalenjin who’s operating in opposition to the “dynasties” embodied by Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga, heirs of two households on the coronary heart of Kenyan politics since independence in 1963.

Their marketing campaign guarantees, centered on buying energy and combating corruption, haven’t essentially satisfied Kenyans, a few third of whom stay in poverty.

“We have now elections, we get guarantees however we do not see any change,” lamented George Otieno Henry, a 56-year-old artisan. “I hope this time it is going to be higher,” he pleaded from Kibera, an enormous slum in Nairobi.

In 2017, turnout was near 80%. However the August 2017 presidential election was invalidated by the courts for “irregularities” after which rescheduled, denting the status of the IEBC.

Since then, political alliances have modified. However corruption has remained endemic and the consequences of the pandemic, the struggle in Ukraine and the continued drought have exacerbated already evident inequalities and dominated the marketing campaign. The hovering price of dwelling can also have supplanted the normal tribal vote on the polling sales space, analysts say.

Each Odinga and Ruto have promised a brighter financial future for the under-34s, who make up three-quarters of the inhabitants however are notably onerous hit by unemployment.

However a lot of them are turning away from a political recreation they see as tainted by corruption.