Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta leading rival Raila Odinga in early results but tight race could lead to runoff vote and rerun of 2007 clashes

    Tuesday, March 05, 2013   No comments


Despite multiple attacks on security forces that left a dozen people dead on the coast and reports of gunmen seizing control of two polling stations in Garissa, near the Somali border, the prevailing mood was one of relief as millions waited peacefully and patiently to cast their vote. For most, epic queues and computer glitches were a bigger headache than the much-predicted tribal conflagration.

Provisional results, based on more than a quarter of polling stations reporting, showed Uhuru Kenyatta – who is due to stand trial at the international criminal court – leading with 55% of the vote, well ahead of his main rival, Raila Odinga, on 40%.

Throughout most of the country millions of Kenyans waited in long lines and cast their ballots in peace. Monday's election was Kenya's first since more than 1,000 people were killed in violence following its December 2007 presidential election.

But this was the easy part. There are still many hurdles to come, as a tight contest for the presidency could lead to a run-off vote and ugly disputes both in the courts and on the streets.

East Africa's biggest economy is desperate to avoid a repeat of 2007's ethnic violence that left more than 1,100 people dead and 600,000 displaced.


Isr Ed

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