Early signs show tight Kenyan presidential election

AFP

Preliminary results from Kenya's presidential election showed a tight race between the two main candidates vying to replace outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Tuesday election is an important test for stability in East Africa's biggest economy after two of its three last elections were marred by violence following disputes over accusations of rigging.

The frontrunners, Deputy President William Ruto and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, were neck and neck with 1.2 million votes each, results tabulated by the private Citizen Television early on Wednesday showed, putting them at just over 49 per cent each.

The winning candidate must get 50 per cent plus one vote.

The election commission, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), posted images of more than 90 per cent of election result forms, from a total of 46,663 polling stations.

But for now, the commission is only posting pictures, not numbers. Only two constituency-level results are available on the commission's website.

The constituency result forms have to be physically taken to the national tallying centre in the capital, Nairobi, and verified before the commission issues them as official results.

The process is partly the result of a Supreme Court ruling in 2017 that overturned the initial re-election of Kenyatta in August that year, citing the commission's failure to follow the process to the letter.

The final result from the IEBC is expected in days, although legally, it has up to a week.

Turnout was low on Tuesday, when voters also chose legislative and local authority representatives.

The commission said it believed that about 60 per cent of the 22.1 million registered voters cast ballots. Turnout was nearly 80 per cent in the last election in 2017.

Several factors were blamed for the disappointing turnout including drought in the north and voter frustration with the government's failure to tackle economic problems such as rising food and fuel prices.

Kenyatta fell out with his deputy Ruto after their re-election in 2017. He has endorsed Odinga.

More from International

  • Iran warns against retaliation as global powers urge restraint

    Iran warned Israel and the United States on Sunday of a much larger response if there is any retaliation for its mass drone and missile attack on Israeli territory overnight, as Israel said "the campaign is not over yet".

  • 99% of missiles and drones fired by Iran shot down, Israel says

    Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight, 99 per cent of which were shot down, the Israeli military said on Sunday, adding that the armed forces remained fully functional and were discussing follow-up options.

  • Indonesian landslides kill at least 14

    At least 14 people have been killed in landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the country's disaster mitigation agency said on Sunday, with rescue efforts ongoing for those reported missing.

  • Israel says Hamas has rejected hostage, aid proposal

    Hamas has rejected the latest proposal for a deal to return Israeli hostages and Israel will continue to pursue its objectives in Gaza "with full force", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Sunday.

  • Sydney stabbings not a terrorist attack, police say

    The man who fatally stabbed six people in Sydney had mental health issues in the past and there was no indication ideology was a motive in the attack in one of the city's busiest shopping centres, police said on Sunday.

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • Nights on Dubai Eye 103.8

    11:00pm - 6:00am

    Dubai Eye complements the conversation with the music you love from the eighties, nineties and newer.

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.

BUSINESS BREAKFAST LATEST

On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.