Kenyan president urges people to vote peacefully

Kenyan president urges people to vote peacefully

Kenya will be conducting general elections Tuesday for the presidency and more than 1,800 elected officials, including governors, legislative representatives and county officials.

Kenyatta was leading with 55 percent of the vote to Odinga's 44 percent in results released by the electoral commission (IEBC), but with just 9,405 of the country's almost 41,000 polling stations counted, it was too soon to tell if the incumbent's lead would hold.

"We must not, and I repeat, we must not disappoint them". But if he does not win, it's ok. "Really, there's no need for violence", said Tom Mboya, 43, who works in construction.

Over 309,000 registered voters in Embu County started streaming into polling stations as early as 4 am ready to cast their votes.

In the previous polls, opposition leader Raila Odinga had claimed that 2 million votes were used to rig the election.

Worries like these are common around election time in Kenya, exacerbated by memories of the bloody months after the disputed 2007 vote, when politically-motivated ethnic violence killed at least 1,100 people and displaced 600,000. Kenyatta is Kikuyu, an ethnic group that has supplied three of Kenya's four presidents since independence from Britain in 1963. Problems with electronic voting in the closely contested 2013 election led to accusations the vote was rigged. However Odinga took his grievances to the courts instead of the streets, where he lost.

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"The question is not whether or not they will accept the result but what they will do when they don't accept it", he told Agence France-Presse.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has voted in his birthplace of Gatundu, north of Nairobi.

Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of Kenya's founding president, has called for his fellow Kenyans to respect the election results amid concerns.

A Kenyan legislator who supports Raila Odinga, the main opposition leader running for president, says he is anxious about some flaws in the voting process in Kenya's hotly contested elections.

Kenyans vote at a polling station at Olympic Primary School in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa, on August 8, 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

A 102-year-old woman believed to be one of Kenya's oldest citizens said she voted for Mr Kenyatta. The military confirmed the existence of a document Odinga says proves the army plans to help Kenyatta win.

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Polling stations across the country are already open with thousands already queued up to cast their ballots.

ELOG said some of its observers had been denied access to polling stations while others had their phones confiscated upon arrival.

Yet, Kenya's 9.4 million female voters, 47% of registered voters, have been an afterthought in an election that hinges on turnout and undecided voters. Half are aged under 35.

The contest mainly between these two long-time rival is seen as too close to call.

Both have secured formidable alliances with other influential communities in a country where voting takes place largely along tribal lines.

Kiingati said she voted for Kenyatta, who seeks a second term and faces a fierce challenge from opposition leader Raila Odinga.

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