Kenya election 2017: Kenyatta ahead as votes counted
Kenya's incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has
taken a strong lead as votes are counted after Tuesday's election.
With 80% of results in he has 55% of the vote against
44% for his rival, Raila Odinga, figures show.
However, the opposition coalition has rejected the
partial results, saying election officials have not produced documents
to prove their validity.
"They are fictitious, they are fake," said Mr Odinga.
"We have our projections from our agents which show we
are ahead by far," he added.
The electoral commission is urging people to wait
calmly for full results.
Many fear a repeat of the violence that followed the
disputed 2007 election when more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000
"During this critical phase, we urge all Kenyans to
exercise restraint as we await official results from the polling
stations and indeed as they start trickling in," the commission said.
began queuing early in the morning and even overnight to
cast their votes
Voting passed off largely peacefully and some polling
stations remained open after the scheduled 17:00 (14:00 GMT) closing
Mr Kenyatta is hoping for a second term in office.
To win outright, a candidate needs more than 50% of
the vote, and at least 25% in 24 of Kenya's 47 counties. If that
threshold is not met, a run-off vote between the top two candidates will
Voting for the national and local assemblies has also
been taking place.
Scenes from the polling station
People started queuing early to ensure they could cast
their vote. Long queues could be seen, and video footage at one polling
station showed people injured after an apparent stampede.
There was also the failure of some
voter-identification equipment and one in four polling stations were
apparently without mobile phone coverage meaning that officials would
have to drive to the nearest town to send results.
There were reports that one man had been killed in
clashes in the Kilifi area.
Polling day as it happened
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But there was one heartening moment when a woman gave
birth to a baby girl as she queued in West Pokot to cast her ballot. New
mother Pauline Chemanang called the circumstances of the birth a
"blessing" and called her baby Kura, Swahili for "ballot", according to
Election officials will be busy through the night
counting the votes
Mr Kenyatta called on Kenyans to pull the country
Mr Odinga has raised fears of vote-rigging
Casting his vote in his hometown of Gatundu, north of
Nairobi, Mr Kenyatta said he would accept the outcome of the election.
"To my competitors, as I have always said, in the
event that they lose, let us accept the will of the people. I am
willing, myself, to accept the will of the people," he said.
Opposition leader Mr Odinga cast his ballot in the
Nairobi slum of Kibera.
Speaking outside the voting centre, he told his
supporters: "Let's turn out in large numbers and vote."
Testing time ahead
By Alastair Leithead, BBC News, Mathare
The queues were long and the voters impatient. Many
arrived in the middle of the night to cast their ballots early and the
electronic system is taking quite a while to verify voters.
If fingerprints don't register, ID card numbers have
to be typed in to the electronic tablets and then there's a manual
The responsibility lies with the Independent Electoral
and Boundaries Commission to deliver a free and fair election.
The test will come when the polls close, the votes are
counted and the results have to be transmitted to the tallying centres.
The presidential race is expected to be close.
Mr Odinga, 72, has run for president three times and
lost each time. President Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of Kenya's
founding president, beat him in the last election in 2013, but their
rivalry is generations old - their fathers were political opponents in
Mr Kenyatta and his running-mate William Ruto were
indicted by the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in
the bloodshed a decade ago. The case ultimately collapsed due to lack of
evidence, and after key witnesses died or disappeared.
Kenya's election in numbers:
Six separate ballot papers: For president, national
assembly, female representatives, governors, senate and county
47 parliamentary seats and 16 senate seats reserved
Eight presidential candidates: President Uhuru
Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga are favourites
Kenyatta beat Odinga in 2013 - their fathers were also
political rivals in the 1960s
A candidate needs 50% plus one vote for first-round
More than 14,000 candidates running across the six
More than 45% of registered voters under 35
Some 180,000 security officers on duty nationwide in
case of trouble
Decoding the poll
Vote strains mixed ethnicity marriages
What first-time voters make of it all
View of those behind 2007 poll violence
Chief EU observer Marietje Schaake said much would
depend on the faith people hold in the new electronic voting system.
Before election day, a top election official was
murdered, there were claims of vote-rigging and hate speech flyers and
rhetorical text messages began circulating.
Some nervous Kenyans stockpiled food and water, while
police prepared emergency first aid kits in the event of violence.
Courtesy: BBC News
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