28/09/2022

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Vote counting underway after Kenya’s vote

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Kenya voted for a brand new president on Tuesday towards a backdrop of financial hardship and rising disenchantment with the political elite, with voting largely peaceable however producing low turnout in some areas.

The nation is hoping for an orderly transition of energy after nearly a decade beneath two-term President Uhuru Kenyatta, however issues about vote-rigging linger after previous election disputes triggered lethal unrest.

Deputy President and erstwhile heir-apparent William Ruto, 55, is working towards Raila Odinga, the 77-year-old veteran opposition chief now backed by longtime rival Kenyatta after a surprising shift in allegiances.

Voters lined up effectively earlier than daybreak to forged their ballots in what has been billed as a key take a look at for democracy in a rustic the place odd folks have turn into pissed off with political leaders and their failure to ship on their guarantees.

By 4:00 pm (1300 GMT), 10 hours after polling started, turnout was at simply over 56 p.c of the 22 million registered voters, in line with the Unbiased Electoral and Boundaries Fee (IEBC).

Comparable figures for the August 2017 election weren’t instantly accessible however general turnout then reached 78 p.c.

Polls have been resulting from shut at 5:00 pm (1400 GMT), with some stations reporting sparse turnout as they shut their doorways.

Others continued to host queues of ready voters whereas polling stations whose opening was delayed will keep open till later.

“These of them on the queue, all of them will vote — no-one might be turned away,” stated Sylvia Amoni, an election officer in a central district of Nairobi.

Many individuals stated they hoped this yr’s vote would make their lives simpler as they battle to place meals on the desk amid hovering inflation and a crippling drought.

“I’ve come to vote to select somebody who convey change to this nation,” stated unemployed 34-year-old Ruth Iminza within the Nairobi slum of Kibera.

“Every part has gone up together with faculty charges for our kids.”

Hope for honest vote

Strain is on the IEBC to make sure a free and honest vote in all six polls — for the presidency in addition to for senators, governors, lawmakers, girl representatives and a few 1,500 county officers.

The IEBC acknowledged that about 200 digital voter registration units had failed, out of a complete of greater than 46,000.

Polling was suspended in Wajir, a county bordering Somalia, after a gunfight left election officers trapped inside an workplace the place ballots have been saved, the IEBC stated.