Kenyans anxious for information on the following president, two days after an in depth vote

NAIROBI/ELDORET, Kenya (Reuters) – Kenyans crowded radios and televisions on Thursday, more and more anxious for information about who their subsequent president may be, two days after voting for an election ended.

The East African nation’s Electoral Commission (IEBC) has neither printed a working tally of outcomes nor mentioned when it plans to announce the winner, however unofficial and typically conflicting media counts present a nail-bitingly shut race.

Veteran opposition chief and former political prisoner Raila Odinga, 77, is making his fifth stab on the presidency. He is neck and neck with outgoing Deputy President William Ruto, 55.

Kenyan media are compiling outcomes from pictures of types the fee has uploaded to its web site from greater than 46,000 polling stations, a mammoth process which means their numbers differ and lag far behind the quantity of uncooked information obtainable.

Amid considerations that these discrepancies may spark allegations of fraud which have fueled lethal violence after the newest vote, many are urging their fellow residents – after a largely peaceable election – to attend patiently for the official outcomes.

Outside a butcher’s store within the western city of Eldoret, dozens of males backstabbed one another as they crowded round to learn the newest headlines and argue over the relative deserves of Ruto and Odinga.

But all of them expressed religion within the fee’s means to ship a real consequence.

“This (radio) station says this; this station says that – we don’t engage with those numbers,” mentioned 22-year-old driver Ian Kipchirchir.

“Only IEBC (The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) has the truth.. We trust IEBC.”

Scrutinizing newspaper headlines two blocks away, Ongao Okello added: “There is so much impatience… Given the experience we have in Kenya, we have to be patient and just wait.”

More than 1,200 individuals had been killed in widespread violence that adopted the 2007 elections, and greater than 100 died after the 2017 polls.

This story contributes to the investigation by an electoral fee cautious of repeating errors within the tally that prompted the Supreme Court to annul the 2017 consequence and order a repeat election.

LOWER PARTICIPATION

The 2022 consequence can also be being watched intently overseas.

Kenya is the area’s richest economic system, a secure nation in an unstable area and an in depth Western ally, internet hosting regional headquarters for Alphabet, Visa and different worldwide teams.

International observers had been typically constructive in regards to the election, regardless of some last-minute printing issues, modifications in procedures and inconsistencies within the publication of outcomes.

However, Amnesty International mentioned political events are deliberately spreading confusion by sharing false experiences.

“Several posts by both KENYA KWANZA and AZIMIO candidates and their supporters have deliberately attempted to misinform voters … about the electoral process and election results,” the rights group mentioned in a press release, referring to Ruto and Odinga’s political alliances.

Former US ambassador Johnnie Carson – a board member of the National Democratic Institute, an election monitor – mentioned the method wanted to be extra credible than it wanted to be fast.

“Technology should not trump the trust and integrity that citizens have in the process,” he mentioned.

Meanwhile, media fills the knowledge hole.

By 1500 GMT on Thursday, the privately owned Nation group had tallied outcomes from 89% of polling stations, placing Ruto forward with 50.20% of the vote and Odinga with 49.12%.

At the identical time, privately owned Citizen Ruto obtained 49.09% of the vote and Odinga 49.51%.

According to a Reuters rely of 98 out of 291 constituency-level outcomes at 15:00 GMT, Odinga had 51.5% of the vote and Ruto 47.86%.

Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta has reached his two-term restrict. He has backed Odinga after hitting out at Ruto after the final election.

The profitable candidate will need to have 50% of the vote plus one to win, and a minimum of 1 / 4 of the vote in 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties. If there isn’t any outright winner, there shall be a second spherical of voting, with the 2 presidential candidates at the moment getting lower than one % between them.

Many Kenyans, annoyed by the shifting alliances of the elite and fed up with rising costs and corruption, didn’t hassle to vote in any respect in Tuesday’s spherical.

The fee mentioned turnout for the vote, which additionally included legislative and native elections, was round 65%, down from practically 80% in 2017.

(Additional reporting by Katharine Houreld and Duncan Miriri in Nairobi, Ayenat Mersie in Eldoret, Daud Yussuf in Garissa; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Toby Chopra, Alexandra Hudson and John Stonestreet)

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