Mar 05, 2013 at 9:20am
Kenyatta opens early lead in Kenyan presidential election
Uhuru Kenyatta has emerged as the early frontrunner in Kenya’s presidential poll. The deputy prime minister has a slight lead with a third of votes counted but with thousands of polling stations yet to report his main rival Prime Minister Raila Odinga still has high hopes.
Five years ago, a dispute over the outcome led to a tribal conflict in which an estimated 1,200 people were killed sparking fears there would be a repeat.
This time round, despite pockets of deadly violence which have resulted in at least 15 people being killed, the contest has passed off largely peacefully.and there has been a turnout of more than 70 percent .
For many, memories of the the bloodshed of 2007 is still very raw and enough to prevent trouble from being widespread.
“There was a bit of tension yesterday after we heard that policemen had been killed but things are slowly retuning to normal now. People have no issues and are keenly waiting to hear the announcement of results,” said one resident in Nairobi
Counting may not be completed for another day, delaying an official announcement. For outright victory, a candidate needs more than 50 percent of votes cast, otherwise the top two face a run-off election, tentatively set for April depending on any legal challenges.