Kenya election result: Raila Odinga and William Ruto in close race

  • In World
  • 2022-08-15 08:40:42Z
  • By BBC
Composite image of Raila Odinga and William Ruto
Composite image of Raila Odinga and William Ruto  

There's growing anticipation that the much-awaited results of last week's Kenya presidential election will be known shortly.

Desks being used for the result verification process have been cleared and the national tallying centre is being prepared for the declaration.

Deputy President William Ruto has a narrow lead over ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the latest count.

According to Kenyan law, the results must be announced by 16 August.

On Sunday, both Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto urged anxious Kenyans to be patient as they wait for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to determine which of them would be the country's fifth president.

  • Live updates as the results are announced

  • The latest on the presidential and parliamentary races

  • Raila Odinga: The eternal candidate hoping it will be fifth-time lucky

  • William Ruto: The former chicken seller with presidential ambitions

There have also been calls for peace from several leaders and bodies including the Catholic church which asked for "patience and civility" and urged the main candidates to show "restraint and statesmanship".

Mr Ruto leads the official tally at 51% against Mr Odinga's 48%, according to local media. Verified results from 39 of the 290 constituencies are yet to be declared.

Media organisations have also been releasing provisional tallies using official data from the 46,000 polling stations. They also show a tight race. About 14 million votes were cast - a turnout of 65%.

Click here to see the BBC interactive

IEBC officials have been busy verifying results at the Bomas cultural centre, in the capital, Nairobi, which is being used as the main tallying centre.

They are comparing photographs of result forms from the polling stations to physical forms that officials have brought to the centre to ensure they match.

This painstaking effort has seen the head of the electoral body, Wafula Chebukati, accuse agents from the main parties, who are witnessing the process, of turning a straightforward exercise into a "forensic" one.

Poll officials have been comparing paper and electronic results forms to see if they match
Poll officials have been comparing paper and electronic results forms to see if they match  

On Saturday night, Mr Odinga's supporters entered a restricted area and accosted electoral officials, accusing them of tampering with the vote.

His chief campaign manager was able to get to the lectern used by top electoral commission officials, where he criticised the result verification process.

"I want to announce to the nation that Bomas of Kenya is a scene of crime," said Saitabao Ole Kanchory, before the microphone was switched off and he was led away.

Mr Ruto's supporters accused their opponents of interfering with the tallying process.

Security has since been heightened inside the venue and access to the compound also restricted.

How are Kenyans feeling?

There is a sense of anxiety in the country with many people who spoke to the BBC saying they want the announcement to be made quickly because the tense atmosphere had stalled economic activities in the country. Schools also remain closed.

Disputed elections in the past have led to violence or the whole process election being cancelled.

Following the 2007 vote, at least 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 fled their homes following claims of a stolen election.

In 2017, huge logistical errors led the Supreme Court to annul the result and order the presidential poll to be re-run.

Allegations of election rigging are as old as the country. It was part of politics even before multiparty elections were re-introduced in the 1990s, but the push for free and fair elections has never faltered.

After the violence that followed the 2007 election, political parties and activists argued for the use of technology instead of physical registers, which could be easily manipulated, to verify voters.

This year's election is the third time technology has been used but it has yet to deliver an election that has not been challenged in the courts.

Officials are under pressure to get things right this time.

"We are going to make it very difficult in this election for people to go to court to challenge the results that we have, because we are so transparent that even if they want to go to court, they would be very embarrassed to do so," one of the electoral commissioners, Justus Nyangaya, told the BBC.

When will we know the result?

Based on the huge number of verified votes from the constituencies it's hoped that the electoral commission will clear the remaining 50 constituencies before the end of Monday. If they don't then legally the announcement has to be made before 1700 local time (1400 GMT) on Tuesday.

If there is a clear leader, celebrations are likely to break out among his supporters - but only the IEBC can make it official.

To win the presidential race in the first round, a candidate needs:

  • more than half of all the votes cast across the country

  • at least 25% of the votes cast in a minimum of 24 counties.

Otherwise voting goes to a second round which by law has to happen by 8 September.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is standing down after serving his limit of two terms in office. He has endorsed his long-time rival, Mr Odinga, rather than his deputy, Mr Ruto.

Click here to see the BBC interactive

Election branding
Election branding  
  • REALITY CHECK: Misinformation fills the vacuum as Kenyans wait

  • EXPLAINER: A simple guide to the election

  • CONTEXT: Seven charts that explain Kenya amid elections

  • ANALYSIS: How Kenya's leader has split his people over choice of candidate

  • READ MORE: Full coverage


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