Kenya: Raila Odinga's supporters hopeful of victory

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Residents gather to discuss the election in front of a mural of presidential candidate Raila Odinga, in the Kibera area of Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022.   -  

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Ben Curtis/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Last updated: 23 minutes ago

Kenya

On Thursday, Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had not yet declared the official results of the presidential race. However, winners of other elective seats were being announced.The Orange Democratic Movement candidate Peter Ochieng Orero was elected new Kibra-MP. 

The winner received the certifcate proving his success. For this Raila Odinga ally, going to the collection and tallying centers to know the results firsthand was essential, especially at the Bomas of Kenya, the National Tallying Centre.

"So it is my duty to go and protect these votes at the Bomas Of Kenya, the newly elected member of parliament said. We don't want any monkey business at the Bomas Of Kenya. That is why the Kibra people are going to see their votes being tallied at the Bomas of Kenya."

Interest in the winner was sharpening in the East African country days after the general elections. Anxious Kenyans turned to newspapers projections or the Internet polls in a bid to break the suspense. However, the media Council of Kenya reminded that "that the final results of the elections will be declared by the IEBC". 

In the meantime, even-tempered voters like James Kamande, a manager at matatu industry, were calmly hoping for their protégé to win the neck-to-neck presidential competition.

"To me, if Baba, takes over, he will make this country prosperous, internationally, we will be admitted internationally, yes. So for me I am supporting the right honorable Raila Amolo Odinga, yes. And I voted for him. This is the slogan 'Azimio Inawezekana' because we want a united country, we don't want a country that is divided. We need a united country that we will be lead properly, that is why we are saying we are just waiting to swear in Baba."

No repeat of violence

Following the death of more than 1,100 people after the 2007 election, violent post-electoral memories remain vivid in Kenya and for some, fear of a repeat remains. Peter Mwangi, vendor believes everything will go fine this time: "Tension begins when the results come in, but this time everything is calm. People have started resuming their work. I don't see anyone has time to start violence. Are you going to fight or search for food? There will be no violence this time around."

More than 22 million people were registered to vote but dispirited by economic challenges including high national debt and widespread unemployment Kenya's electoral commission said turnout was at least 65%. A figure far lower than the 80% in the previous election.

4 candidates vied for the presidency but two are top contender. Deputy President William Ruto and veteran politican Raila Odinga. Official election results must be announced within a week of the vote.

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