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Long queues at polling stations in keenly watched Kenyan elections

Long queues at polling stations in keenly watched Kenyan elections

There are eight contenders in the race for Kenya's presidency.

First, the vice president's rural home was attacked by a machete-wielding intruder and a little more than a week before elections, the man in charge of Kenya's electronic voting system was murdered.

My competitors, as I have always said, in the event that they lose, let us accept the will of the people.

Thousands of voters started trooping to polling stations as early as 1 a.m. Tuesday, hours ahead of the official voting time of 6 a.m.to vote for their choice.

He called on the nation to build confidence in its new constitution and avoid the "needless pain and agony" prompted by the violence that followed the 2007 elections, when many believed Odinga was rigged out of victory and 1,200 people were killed.

Those who have voted are having their fingers inked to distinguish them from those who are yet to vote.

Kenyatta and Odinga originate from opposing tribes.

The veteran voter did her civic duty at a polling station set up in a primary school in Gatundu, north of Nairobi.

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He has also been speaking out about irregularities and corruption at the country's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which has created some reason for doubt as it's been slow to act against some electoral law transgressions.

Polling stations were crowded from the early hours of the day, with some voters queuing from 1am despite chilly weather of 15 Celcius degrees.

The worldwide community is also keeping a close eye on the election in a country considered a bastion of stability in east Africa and a key partner in the fight against the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab.

More than 19 million Kenyans were registered to vote at over 40,000 polling stations. "I thank Kenyans for turning up in large numbers to vote", Odinga said before leaving to cast his ballot.

In Kisumu, Odinga's heartland, clerk Stephy Onyango said officials were trained to watch out for the suspicious circulation of babies. If that threshold is not met, a run-off vote between the top two candidates will be triggered.

He pulled an impressive crowd during the opposition National Super Alliance's (Nasa) final rally in Nairobi on Saturday, but still, many of his supporters say they believed President Uhuru Kenyatta would win again.

Vote counting got underway in several parts of Kenya Tuesday evening following close of polling at the official time: 5pm EAT. Kenya has almost 20 million registered voters. The Carter Center is also conducting an observer mission around the election to provide outside oversight and ensure more people trust the results.

Kenyatta, the son of the country's founding father, then called on his competitors to accept the outcome of the election. "It shows the enthusiasm people have to exercise their democratic right", John Mahama, former Ghanaian president and chief Commonwealth election observer, said.


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