Kenya election results show tight race between two candidates

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Kenya election results show tight race between two candidates

On August 9, 2022, election officials counted votes at Kilimera Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya. MOSA'AB ELSHAMY AP NAIROBI Preliminary results from Kenya's presidential election showed a tight race between the two main candidates vying to replace outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Two of its three last elections were marred by violence over accusations of rigging, and the Tuesday election is an important test for stability in East Africa's biggest economy.

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 that they were just over 49 percent each.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC posted images of more than 90 percent of the election result forms, from 46,663 polling stations.

The commission is only posting pictures, not numbers. Two constituency-level results are available on the commission's website.

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

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

ALSO READ: Debt shadow may hang over Kenya's next president.

A member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shows a presidential ballot paper to observers during the general election in Kiambu County on August 9, 2022. FREDRIK LERNERYD AFP The final result from the IEBC is expected to be announced in a few days, although legally it has up to a week.

On Tuesday, turnout was low when voters also elected legislators and local authority representatives.

The commission said that about 60 percent of the 22.1 million registered voters cast ballots. In the last election in 2017, the turnout was nearly 80 percent.

There were a number of factors that contributed to 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.

After her re-election in 2017, Kenyatta fell out with his deputy Ruto. He has endorsed Odinga.

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