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Veteran opposition leader Odinga ahead in Kenya’s presidential race

People sit close to a wall mural of Raila Odinga the presidential candidate for Azimio la Umoja and something Kenya Alliance, following the general election conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya August 12, 2022. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

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NAIROBI, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga led Kenya’s presidential race, official election results showed on Saturday, pushing Deputy President William Ruto into second place.

With just over 26% of votes counted, Odinga had 54% and Ruto had 45%, in accordance with results supplied by the Kenyan election commission and displayed on a big screen at a national tallying center in the administrative centre, Nairobi.

East Africa’s wealthiest nation & most vibrant democracy held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on Tuesday.

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Ruto and Odinga come in a good race to achieve success President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has already reached his two-term limit. Kenyatta fell out with Ruto following the last election and contains endorsed Odinga.

Official vote tallying has been proceeding slowly, fueling public anxiety. read more

Election commission chairman Wafula Chebukati blamed party agents, that are permitted to scrutinise results forms before they’re added to the ultimate tally.

“Agents in this exercise cannot proceed … as though we are performing a forensic audit,” he told a news briefing on Friday.

“We have been not moving as fast once we should. This exercise must be concluded as quickly as possible.”

Representatives from Odinga and Ruto’s coalitions didn’t immediately react to requests for comment.

Reuters news agency along with other media outlets have already been tallying results forms from 291 constituencies posted on the election commission website. These haven’t yet been verified, which tally is running smoothly prior to the official one.

By 1200 GMT, Reuters had tallied 237 forms, which showed Ruto in the lead with nearly 53% of the vote, in comparison to just over 46% for Odinga. Two other candidates had significantly less than 1% between them.

Nineteen other styles cannot be contained in the count since they were unreadable or were missing information.

The forms Reuters is tallying are preliminary and the outcomes at the mercy of change. Following the forms are uploaded to the commission’s website, Kenyan election law requires they are physically taken to the national tallying center, where party representatives can examine them for just about any discrepancies.

The procedure was designed as a safeguard contrary to the sort of rigging allegations which have triggered violence after previous polls. A lot more than 1,200 individuals were killed following a disputed 2007 election and much more than 100 killed following a disputed 2017 election.

The winning candidate must receive 50% of the national vote and something, and at the very least 25% of the vote from 24 of 47 counties.

The commission has until Tuesday to declare successful.

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Additional reporting by Katharine HoureldWriting by Katharine HoureldEditing by Alexandra Zavis, Mark Bendeich and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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