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Odinga And Ruto In Tight Presidential Race

President Uhuru Kenyatta, his estranged deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

This Tuesday, August 9 is an important day for Kenya. More than 22 million voters are going to the polls to elect a successor to Uhuru Kenyatta who has been the nation’s president since 2013.

Polling stations opened early, at 6 a.m. local time and will close around 5 p.m. Four candidates are in the running but it is mainly between Raila Odinga, candidate for the fifth time and supported by Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice-President William Ruto that the battle seems to be played out.

The country of 56 million inhabitants expects a lot from this election in a context of economic and social crisis. The lack of jobs is at the center of these elections, particularly for young people who represent more than three quarters of the Kenyan population and whose unemployment has doubled in the last five years.

Besides the presidential election, voters must elect their deputies, senators, county governors and members of county assemblies. A total of six ballots must be placed in the ballot box.

The Kenya Electoral Commission is under pressure to guarantee elections without irregularities or deadly violence. In a country marked by a post-election crisis in 2007-2008 where 1,100 had lost their lives.

To win, a candidate must receive 50% of the votes plus one vote, as well as 25% of the votes in half of the 47 counties. If these conditions are not met, a second round must be organized within 30 days.

The results must then be announced within seven days of the election.

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