William Ruto leads Kenya’s Raila Odinga in presidential race

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William Ruto leads Kenya’s Raila Odinga in presidential race

The current deputy president, William Ruto, is slightly ahead of Kenya s one-time opposition leader Raila Odinga, according to partial official results.

Odinga has 52.54% of the vote against 46.76% for Ruto, according to figures released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in the early afternoon, based on results from about 30% of polling stations.

Kenyans are still waiting for final results five days after the country, considered one of the most dynamic democracies in Africa, went to the polls on Tuesday.

Odinga, 77, is making his fifth stab at the top job with the support of his longtime foe, the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta, who has served two terms and cannot run again.

Ruto, 55, has been the deputy president for almost a decade but was left out in the cold after a pact between Odinga and Kenyatta shocked the nation in 2018.

The election commission on Friday acknowledged that the vote was moving too slowly after appealing for the nation to be patient. It denied that its results portal had been compromised, insisting that its systems were secure.

Kenyans had been confused when television stations that had been providing rolling coverage of the election stopped broadcasting provisional results on Thursday.

The election is a test of the stability of the east African powerhouse, which has seen past votes marred by rigging and deadly violence.

Independent observers said the vote was orderly, even though the long campaign was marred by disinformation.

The winner of the presidential race needs to secure a 50% plus one vote and at least a quarter of the votes in 24 of Kenya's 47 counties.