Kenyans begin voting in tense general elections

Uhuru speaking at the Deliverance Church Umoja

While his department was responsible for voter identification and result transmission technology for the elections, it's unclear whether his killing was related to the election.

"We shall only accept the defeat if the election meets worldwide standards", he said at Makhele primary in Kabuchai constituency. Problems with electronic voting in the closely contested 2013 election led to accusations the vote was rigged.

From the Indian Ocean coast to Rift Valley towns to Nairobi's slums, Kenyans turned out in large numbers to vote Tuesday in an election pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga in this East African economic hub known for its relative, long-term stability and ethnic allegiances that shadow its democracy.

"I feel good. I feel positive because we ran a positive campaign", Kenyatta said after casting his vote.

To win outright, a candidate needs 50 per cent plus one vote, and at least 25 per cent of the votes in 24 of Kenya's 47 counties. Mr Odinga served as prime minister in the government of national unity that followed the violence in 2007.

The former president, whose father was born in Kenya, said there has been "too much incitement and appeals based on fear from all sides" and that the Kenyan people "will be the losers if there is a descent into violence".

The election day is upon Kenyans and many are heading to polling stations to cast their votes in this highly anticipated Tuesday, August 8 election. Though 2013's, election was mostly peaceful, many are still readying for the possibility of post election violence, given Uhuru's supposed involvement in the ethnic violence which ensued in 2008-he was relieved of these charges by the International Criminal Court in 2014.

"If the elections are not fair, if there was rigging, people will definitely go to the streets", said Sophia Ajwang, a 29-year-old student in Kisumu city.

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The two dynasties have always been rivals, and Kenyans feel so strongly about the vote that ambulances have been ferrying bed-bound patients to polling stations.

Voters will also choose governors, members of parliament and senators.

Scola Wambui, Kiingati's daughter, said her mother was delighted to vote.

With many people still waiting, some centres remained open beyond the official end of voting to ensure people in the queue could cast their ballots.

Former US president Barack Obama led worldwide calls for peace Monday ahead of Kenyan elections seen as too close to call, with fears that violence could flare in east Africa's richest economy.

Hundreds of thousands of voters stream to polling stations countrywide as the country heads to the second General Election under the 2010 Constitution.

The IEBC said in a statement that extra ICT support staff have been brought into service to resolve minor technical issues. The IEBC extended voting hours in the affected areas and deployed helicopters to ferry materials and polling officials to the stations.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is among global observers who will be monitoring the election.

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