Kenyatta leading in Kenya elections: Early poll results
Nairobi: Early poll results in the presidential elections have indicated that Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is reportedly leading over Prime minister Raila Odinga. Kenyatta is leading with 53 per cent of vote while Odinga has managed to secure 42 per cent votes on the basis of results from 40 per cent of polling stations, as per BBC report.
The administration is closely monitoring the elections and security has been stepped up to prevent a repeat of 2007 polls violence in which 1,100 people were killed when supporters of rival parties clashed.
Isaak Hassan, the chairman of Kenya's electoral commission, said Tuesday that results from 10,000 polling stations are in, but officials await results from 23,000 more stations, as per news agency report.
"Nobody should celebrate, nobody should complain," he said. "We therefore continue to appeal for patience from the public, the political parties as well as the candidates."
Either Kenyatta or Odinga need more than 50 percent of the vote to win, otherwise the two will contend in an April run-off. The vote commission has seven days to release certified results.
Nearly 330,000 ballots — the number keeps rising — have been rejected for not following election rules, raising criticism of voter education efforts.
Hassan said the number of so-called spoiled ballots — votes that won't be counted for not complying with all the rules — was "quite worrying." An American election observer working for the group Sisi ni Amani Kenya — We Are Peace Kenya — said the more than a quarter million ballots thrown out indicate voter education efforts weren't as successful as they should have been.
Long lines formed around the country Monday. Election officials estimate that turnout was about 70 percent of 14 million registered voters. Attacks by separatists on the coast killed 19 people, and other attacks were seen near the border with Somalia, but the vast majority of the country voted in peace.
Kenyatta faces charges at the International Criminal Court on allegations he helped orchestrate post-election violence in 2007-08, when more than 1,000 people were killed.
The US has warned of "consequences" if Kenyatta is to win, as have several European countries. Because Kenyatta is an ICC indictee, the U.S. and Europe have said they might have to limit contact with him, even if he is president.