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Kenyans at the polls for knife elections

Ⓒ AFP – JENNIFER HUXTA – | Beginning of voting for the presidential election in
the city of Eldoret, Kenya, August 8, 2017

The Kenyans began voting on Tuesday morning for a fiercely
contested general election, including a tight presidential
election between outgoing Uhuru Kenyatta and his opposition
rival Raila Odinga.

From Kisumu, the large western city, to Nakuru in the Rift
Valley through Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, the polling
stations opened shortly after 0600 (0300 GMT), to the
satisfaction of Thousands of voters who for some had been
waiting for several hours in the cool night, wrapped in masai
blankets.

In Kibera, an opposition stronghold, the polling station at
the Olympic primary school opened at 06:15 and priority was
given to women with young children. The vote must end at 17:00
local time (1400 GMT).

“We want peace,” Erita Andrew, a 27-year-old street vendor,
told AFP. “She wants to believe that her candidate, Mr. Odinga,
72,” will make changes, give us more work and more Food to put
on the table “.

Ⓒ AFP – TONY KARUMBA, SIMON MAINA – |

Many voters used light from their mobile phones to
illuminate lists posted on the walls and check in which polling
stations they were enrolled.

In Gatundu, north of Nairobi, where President Kenyatta will
fulfill his election duty in the morning, Gathoni said he came
very early to the polling station at Mutomo Primary School “in
order to vote for my favorite president.”

– Specter of 2007 –

Some 19.6 million voters are called upon to decide on
Kenyatta, 55-year-old son of the country’s father of
independence in 1963, and Kenya’s veteran Raila Odinga and
candidate for the fourth and probably last presidential.

The opposition accused the authorities of preparing fraud
throughout an acrimonious campaign that resurrected the specter
of 2007-2008 electoral violence, the worst recorded in this
former British colony since its independence in 2007. 1963.

The opposition, already led by Raila Odinga, had shouted
fraud at the announcement of President Mwai Kibaki’s
re-election. Kenya had plunged in two months of politico-ethnic
violence and police repression, which had killed at least 1,100
people and displaced more than 600,000, and traumatized a
previously deemed stable country.

On Monday, the president asked his fellow citizens to vote
in numbers and “in peace”, while his rival Mr. Odinga
congratulated him for his campaign and called for “the
strongest candidate to win.”

Ⓒ AFP – Aude GENET – | The two main rivals in the race for the presidency of
Kenya

In addition to the presidential election, voters in some
41,000 polling stations are expected to elect their deputies,
senators, governors, local elected representatives and women’s
representatives to the Assembly, under the supervision of
electoral missions of the African Union, Including the European
Union.

Once again, it is the presidential, re-issue of the poster
of 2013, which concentrates the most passions. Polls, somewhat
discordant, augur a tight duel.

A second round between the two men is technically possible
but is considered unlikely by survey institutes, which credit
the other six small candidates with barely 1% of the votes in
total.

– Biometric identification –

Voting in Kenya is more about feelings of ethnicity than
about programs, and MM. Kenyatta (a Kikuyu) and Odinga (a Luo)
set up two powerful electoral alliances. The ability of each
camp to mobilize its supporters will be one of the keys to the
voting.

Ⓒ AFP – Jennifer HUXTA – | Queens to vote in the presidential election in the city
of Eldoret, Kenya, August 8, 2017

Candidates for a new five-year term, the outgoing president
and his vice-president William Ruto (a Kalenjin), released
during the prosecution of the International Criminal Court for
the 2007-2008 violence, economic.

Since 2013, the country has aligned growth rates to more
than 5% and developed its infrastructure, including the new
railway line between Nairobi and the port of Mombasa, on the
Indian Ocean.

Raila Odinga denigrated this record. Re-posing as the
guarantor of better economic growth, he denounced the rise in
food prices, more than 20% over one year in May.

As in 2013, the country uses a biometric voter
identification system and electronic transmission of results.
For many observers, the credibility of the ballot is based on
the reliability of the system.

In 2013, part of the electronic system
had collapsed, fueling suspicions of fraud at the announcement
of victory, in the first round, of Kenyatta. The Supreme Court,
seized by the opposition, had validated the result.

The elections will result in the unprecedented deployment of
more than 150,000 security forces. In Nairobi, policemen were
visible in the vicinity of the polling stations and at the
crossroads of the main roads.

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