Kenya’s presidential elections got underway yesterday as millions turned out to vote. Some individuals waited for more than 10 hours in order to participate in this year’s election. Turnout is estimated to be about 70% (the 2012 turnout in the U.S.: 57.5% ).
The last time Kenya held elections in 2007, about 1,000 people were killed and thousands more injured. Violence has also marked this election with 19 killed this past Monday, attacks attributed to separatists. IEBC chairman Issack Hassan at a press conference called for people to “resist making early judgments about who has won,” and said final results would not be released for 48 hours.
With results in from over 40% of polling stations, Mr Kenyatta has 53% of the vote, against 42% for Mr Odinga. The U.S. and other Western allies of Kenya have warned of the possible consequences should Mr. Kenyatta win. Mr. Kenyatta is due to stand trial at the ICC for his alleged role in the 2007 violent unrest, charges which Mr. Kenyatta denies.
A candidate must get 50% of votes cast plus one vote in order to win outright, in addition to at least 25% of votes in half of Kenya’s 47 counties. If no-one achieves that, the vote will go to a run-off, probably on 11 April.