World Raila Odinga ahead in Kenya’s presidential race: Early results
Infographic: How do the Kenyan elections work?
Kenya votes on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know about the parties, leaders and key election issues.Four candidates are competing for the country’s top position. William Ruto, having served two terms as deputy president in the current government, is eager to succeed his current boss, who he is feuding with.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is leading the country’s presidential race, according to partial official results, with the country remaining on tenterhooks for the final election outcome.
With just over 26 percent of votes counted, Odinga had 54 percent and his main rival Deputy President William Ruto had 45 percent, the results provided by the Kenyan election commission showed on Saturday.
The election, which was held on Tuesday, is being closely watched as a test of stability in Kenya, which is one of east Africa’s wealthiest nations and its most vibrant democracy.
The ‘deep state’ conspiracy theory tainting Kenya’s elections
The phrase ‘deep state’ has been used to suggest a behind-the-scenes involvement of the state in the 2022 elections.Over the last couple of years, the phrase has emerged to convey the notion of a powerful shadowy cabal, not officially elected to government but, nonetheless, contorting the wishes of the people during elections and afterwards in the governance of the country.
Past votes in the country have been marred by rigging and deadly violence.
Odinga and Ruto are in a tight race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has reached his two-term limit. Kenyatta has endorsed Odinga after falling out with Ruto following the last election.
Official vote tallying has been proceeding slowly, fueling public anxiety.
Election commission chairman Wafula Chebukati blamed party agents, who are allowed to scrutinise results forms before they are added to the final tally.
“Agents in this exercise cannot proceed … as if we are doing a forensic audit,” he told a news briefing on Friday.
“We are not moving as fast as we should. This exercise needs to be concluded as soon as possible.”
Representatives from Odinga and Ruto’s coalitions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Kenya campaign ends but disinformation battle drags on
The campaign for Kenya's presidential election has officially closed but the relentless -- and dangerous -- flow of disinformation continues online, as keyboard warriors battle to discredit rivals by sharing fake rigging claims, experts say. "We are increasingly seeing false information which seeks to delegitimise the results of the election with widespread claims that the opposing side would only win through fraud and that they are attempting to steal the election," Manzin told AFP.
Both frontrunners have pledged to ensure calm after the outcome is known, with Kenyans still haunted by the deadly violence that followed the 2017 and 2007 polls.
More than 1,200 people were killed after the disputed election in 2007 and more than 100 killed after the election in 2017.
In a bid to be transparent, the election commission – which faced stinging criticism over its management of the annulled August 2017 poll – has been uploading documents to its website showing results from each polling station.
The Reuters news agency and other media outlets have been tallying results forms from 291 constituencies posted online.
As of 2100 GMT on Saturday, Reuters had tallied 241 forms, which showed Ruto in the lead with nearly 52.3 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for Odinga. Two other candidates had less than 1 percent between them.
Reuters said 30 forms could not be included in the count because they were unreadable or were missing information such as signatures, constituency names, or totals.
Early counts suggest tight Kenya presidential race
More than 90% of polling stations have reported, but the official result may not be known for days.With more than 90% of results posted from thousands of individual districts, local tallies of the raw data suggest little separates the pair.
The forms Reuters tallied are preliminary and the results subject to change. After the forms are uploaded to the commission’s website, Kenyan election law requires that they are physically brought to the national tallying center, where party representatives can examine them for any discrepancies.
The process was designed as a safeguard against the kind of rigging allegations that have triggered violence after previous polls.
The commission has until Tuesday to declare a winner.
The winning candidate must receive 50 percent of the national vote plus one, and at least 25 percent of the vote from 24 of 47 counties.
With the race so close, observers say an appeal to the Supreme Court by the losing candidate is almost certain, meaning it could be many weeks before a new president takes office.
Kenya's Odinga files court petition disputing poll outcome .
Kenya's defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga has filed an online petition to the country's top court, his lawyer told AFP Monday, challenging the result of the August 9 election that handed victory to his rival William Ruto. Paul Mwangi, who is also representing Odinga, told AFP that a physical copy of the petition would be filed before the Supreme Court's 2 pm (1100 GMT) deadline.Odinga, a veteran opposition leader who ran with the backing of the ruling party, has rejected the outcome of the poll, branding it a "travesty", after he narrowly lost to Ruto by around 230,000 votes or less than two percentage points.