Initial results suggest tight race between Kenya’s presidential frontrunners

Nairobi, Aug 10 (EFE).- The initial projections of Kenya’s presidential stand-off suggests a tight race between the frontrunners that could lead to an unprecedented second round of voting.

Vice president William Ruto, at the helm of the Kenya Kwanza coalition (Kenya First, in Swahili), could clinch between 50.2% and 51.4% of the vote, according to several local media projections.

Former prime minister Raila Odinga, who is heading the Azimio La Umoja coalition in his fifth attempt to govern the country, could trail behind with between 47.9% and 48.4% of the ballot.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has so far completed 97.19% of the count but is yet to publish an official result.

Once each polling station completes the vote count, results are sent electronically to the national counting center in Nairobi where the data will be verified.

According to Kenya’s rules, the IEBC has seven days from the closing of polling stations to publish the results.

Counting began Tuesday after the official closure of polling stations at 5:00 PM local time (2:00 PM GMT), but spilled into the night after several schools had to delay their closure due to technical and logistical glitches.

Although the first projections give a narrow victory to Ruto, it looks like neither candidate will achieve a majority in a first round which requires over 50% of the votes nationally, and over 25 % in most of the 47 counties in the country.

If there is no clear winner, Kenya will face an unprecedented second round of voting — to be held within 30 days — something that has never happened since Nairobi restored political pluralism in 1991.

Following a heated two month electoral campaign, Kenyans flocked to polling stations Tuesday in elections that unfolded largely peacefully.

According to IEBC data, the total turnout was at 56% one hour before polls closed on Tuesday, which is a considerable drop from the 79.5% achieved during the 2017 elections. EFE


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