dglobalnews.com Kenya presidential election: President call for peace
Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Kenya presidential election: President call for peace

Kenya presidential election: President call for peace

All eyes are on the biometric voter identification and tallying system which failed massively in 2013 and is seen as crucial to a smooth election amid opposition accusations of a plot to rig the vote.

However, Moses Otieno, a 33-year-old businessman, said that Kenyans desperately want to avoid another bout of election unrest.

He made his first visit to the country as president in 2015, a two-day stop that included a dinner with relatives and a speech to the Kenyan people.

The candidates are from opposing tribes, and current President Uhuru Kenyatta has been accused of rigging the elections process by his rival Raila Odinga, who also participated in the 2007 presidential elections and refused to accept his defeat, which led to the bloody clashes between tribes.

Mr Kenyatta, voting in his birthplace of Gatundu, north of Nairobi, said: "I feel good".

Odinga, 72, is taking his fourth and likely final stab at the presidency. Irregularities and corruption Odinga has been speaking about the issue at every turn, even using the bulk of his final rally to talk about his fears of this election being stolen.

In 2007, a dispute over the election victor flared into violence that left about 1,400 people dead, and the specter of another clash hovers over this year's race.

NAIROBI, KENYA - AUGUST 8: People gather to 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.

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NAN reports that some 19.6 million Kenyans will vote to elect the country's fifth president, 290 members of parliament, 47 county governors, similar number of senators and women representatives and several hundred county representatives.

Mr Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president after independence from British colonial rule, campaigned on a record of major infrastructure projects, many backed by China, and claimed strong economic growth.

The men belong to two of the country's main ethnic groups, Kenyatta from the Kikuyu, the largest, and Odinga from the Luo. But only Kenyatta and Odinga, two men whose fathers led Kenya to independence nearly 55 years ago, retain any real hope of winning. The IEBC extended voting hours in the affected areas and deployed helicopters to ferry materials and polling officials to the stations.

Former President Barack Obama, emerging from partial seclusion more than six months after leaving office, weighed in Monday about the tense political situation - not in the United States, but in his father's home country, Kenya.

Though there are eight presidential candidates on the ballot, Kenyatta and Odinga are the leading candidates in the race that appears too close to call.

"The choices you make in the coming days can either set Kenya back or bring it together", Obama said.

The election commission has said about 25 percent of polling stations won't have network coverage, meaning officials will have to move to find a better signal and transmit results by satellite telephones. Talk of "fake news" has flavored the campaign debate as global observers, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, seek to ensure a fair vote.

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