Kenya to elect its president in close general election

Nairobi, Aug 8 (EFE).- Kenya goes to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new president in a general election defined by the rising cost of living.

Despite a largely peaceful campaign, there are fears of a repeat of the deadly violence that followed previous elections.

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are the two frontrunners in the presidential race, one of the most hotly contested in Africa, although lawyers George Wajackoyah and David Mwaure are also in the running, with no realistic chance of victory.

At a mass in Nairobi on Sunday, Odinga, 77, who is running for president for the fifth time, vowed to accept the results, as did Ruto, who urged the country to avoid a repeat of the violence that came in the wake of disputed previous elections.

Some 22.1 million eligible voters will cast their ballots in over 46,200 centers on Tuesday.

They will also elect 337 parliamentarians of the National Assembly (Lower House) – 47 of which are reserved for women – and 47 members of the Senate (Upper House), as well as the governors and the legislative assemblies of Kenya’s 47 counties.

Following allegations of fraud that overshadowed previous elections, the Independent Electoral Commission said last week it was “almost 100%” sure that this time there would be no irregularities after numerous security mechanisms were set up.

The winner will be Kenya’s fifth president since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1963 and will replace Uhuru Kenyatta, who leaves power after completing the second and last five-year term allowed by the constitution.

The majority of polls show that neither of the two favorite candidates would emerge victorious in the first round, and expect there to be a runoff, which would be held within 30 days.

The European Union and the African Union, among other international bodies, have sent observation missions.

Some 150,000 law enforcement personnel have been mobilized throughout the country ahead of the vote, according to the police.

Kenya is the sixth largest economy in Africa and one of the continent’s fastest developing, with an annual growth of 5.7% between 2015 to 2019. EFE


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