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Kenya Votes: What did Kenyatta, Odinga say after casting their ballots?

09 August 2017, 12:29 | Myrtle Vega

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Kagwiria Mbongori at addressing media at her offices

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Kagwiria Mbongori at addressing media at her offices

Results are expected by Tuesday night, and by Wednesday evening, the country's next President will be declared, although the electoral body will have seven days to officially announce the results. In an election six years earlier, more than 1,200 people died by ethnic violence.

As president, Obama made a high-profile visit to Kenya in 2015, where he was celebrated as the country's most famous son.

The razor-thin polling has increased the chances of glitches - innocent or otherwise - despite a high-tech electronic voting system.

Kenya descended into violence in 2007 after the opposition, led by Odinga, claimed the election results were rigged in favour of then incumbent Mwai Kibaki. Given his age, this is probably Odinga's last crack at the top job.

Kenyan four-time presidential hopeful, Raila Odinga, is hoping for some Madiba magic.

Violence following Odinga's challenge of the result a decade ago resulted in at least 1,300 deaths and 600,000 people displaced from their homes, per the Times.

International Criminal Court cases against Mr Kenyatta and William Ruto, now his deputy, collapsed for lack of evidence.

About 150 000 security personnel have been deployed across the country to allay fears of possible election violence.

Sources at the polling centre say she arrived at 5.45pm, earlier than the official opening and left shortly before 10am soon after voting.

"As a friend of the Kenyan people, I urge you to work for a future defined not by fear and division, but by unity and hope", Mr. Obama added in a statement.

"The question is not whether or not they will accept the result but what they will do when they don't accept it", he told Agence France-Presse.

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"I feel positive because we ran a positive campaign", Kenyatta, who seeks a second term, said after voting in his birthplace of Gatundu, north of Nairobi.

Hundreds of people had waited in line since 2 a.m., wrapped in jackets and blankets against the cold and drizzle.

Nearly 20 million Kenyans have registered to vote to choose candidates for a vast array of positions, from the presidency to county councillors, but all eyes are on the latest battle between the former British colony's two political dynasties. Devolution has made the presidency less of a winner-takes-all race.

"May the stronger candidate win tomorrow", he said.

Mr Odinga, 72, voted in the poor area of Kibera, an opposition stronghold in the capital Nairobi, and was surrounded by well-wishers.

"My plea is that when we do so [vote], let us do so in peace,"?Kenyatta said on television on the eve of the poll.

"No one is giving us a proper explanation yet the exercise was supposed to start at 6 am", said Caroline Otiato, a voter at the station.

The ruling Jubilee party also raised some problems but said it was largely satisfied.

He managed to rise to prime minister after the 2007 elections but that post has since been abolished. Elsewhere, heavy rain impeded the delivery of voting materials.

Worries like these are common around election time in Kenya.

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