Votes are still being tallied in Kenya’s tight presidential race

Votes are still being tallied in Kenya’s tight presidential race
Workers from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) prepare a polling centre ahead of the opening of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 9, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya is leaving office, leaving the presidential race between two newcomers. The two frontrunners are Deputy President William Ruto and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga. So far, Kenyan media has shown that this race would be close; the winner must get 50% plus one vote. But, when it comes to policy, the main issues discussed have been the country’s high living costs, unemployment and corruption.

When it was time to vote on Tuesday, though, the turnout was actually pretty low. About 65% of the 22.1 million registered voters ended up casting ballots, which is compared to the nearly 80% in the 2017 election. But the head of the electoral commission says that this number should go up. Other factors leading to the low turnout could include drought in the north and voter frustration with ongoing economic problems. Now, the electoral commission has seven days to announce the results.

Key Comments:

“The issue of saying that we should declare results today (Wednesday), that will not happen today," commission chair Wafula Chebukati told journalists.

“I have voted. You too should. Your vote counts," William Ruto tweeted.

“Exercised my civic duty and cast my ballot. Thank you to the media, security officers, observers, volunteers and electoral officials countrywide for your work towards ensuring we have a peaceful election." Raila Odinga tweeted.