NAIROBI, KENYA: ELECTION RESULTS
Results still trickling in overnight show the race to State House is headed for a dramatic finish between Mr Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee alliance and Mr Raila Odinga of CORD.
This follows a day of voting that saw a turnout of “over 70 per cent”, with millions braving long queues, minor hitches, unseasonal heat and security threats to cast their votes.
As at 5.00am on Tuesday, Raila and Uhuru seemed on course to upset poll predictions, controlling 96 per cent of the 2.65 million valid votes counted. If the trend holds through the day, and if the winner meets constitutional thresholds, then Kenya will likely have a President Elect in a matter of days.
To win in this round of balloting, a presidential candidate needs more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast and at least 25 per cent in at least half of the
country’s 47 counties. With 24.08% per cent of polling
stations reporting, Uhuru had 1, 478, 575 votes (about 55.18per cent), Raila 1, 079, 842 (40.24 per cent) and Amani’s Musalia Mudavadi 77.994 (2.91 per cent). None of the five other candidates in the presidential race had risen past the one per cent mark. More than 160,456 votes had been set
aside as spoilt. The high number could be attributed to confusion over the record six positions voters were filling.
The presidential ballot paper alone had eight candidates, all of them named alongside their running mates. These results were from 7, 788 polling stations that completed counting early, mostly in areas with low populations. About 23,500 stations are yet to submit results.
Fresh results could, therefore, see the vote swing between the leading candidates. There may also be a rise in the number of votes cast for the other six, pushing the contest to a second round showdown on April 11.
Counting was delayed in major towns when voting was extended because there were still long queues when the 5pm deadline lapsed. By 9pm last night, some centres in Nairobi, Mombasa and North Eastern still had voters queuing to cast their ballots. This followed extensions to make up
for delays caused by voter
identification challenges and security fears.
The election was affected by failure of handheld devices used in electronic voter identification. This led to delays in the opening of polling stations in parts of the country. IEBC approved the use of voter register printouts but voters complained these had missing names.
“We have used poll books, a hand-held electronic device, to access the register but in some cases where there was memory failure we used BVR kits or the manual register,” said an IEBC official at the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.
Regional voting patterns predicted by opinion pollsters appeared to be reinforced in the early results: While counties at the Coast and in Eastern Kenya appeared headed to Raila’s CORD, North-Eastern, Central Kenya and Rift Valley were leaning towards
Kenyatta. Buoyed by support for Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila had a strong showing in most counties in Eastern, which was believed to be leaning towards Uhuru thanks to the
backing of National Rainbow Coalition leader, Mrs Charity Ngilu. In western Kenya, a contest was shaping up between Mudavadi and Raila, with the latter having an upper hand in
Bungoma and Busia. As at midnight, Nairobi County, which
recorded one of the highest voter
turnouts in the country, had emerged as a toss-up county between the two.
Raila was leading with 48 per cent
against Uhuru’s 47 per cent of the
vote. The two leading candidates held onto their strongholds, with Kenyatta posting 88 per cent in Embu County, while in Meru county, considered an extension of his Mt Kenya bloc, he was cruising at 81 per cent to Raila’s
18 per cent. In Nyeri, President
Kibaki’s backyard, Uhuru enjoyed 97 per cent.