World Bulletin / News Desk
Uhuru Kenyatta had an early edge as Kenya continued the count on Tuesday in a presidential election that brought out millions of voters despite pockets of violence that killed at least 15 people.
Kenyans, who waited patiently in long lines, hope the vote will restore the nation's image as one of Africa's more stable democracies after tribal blood-letting killed more than 1,200 people when the result of the 2007 vote was disputed by rivals.
Early counts from Monday's broadly peaceful voting gave an early lead to Kenyatta, the 51-year-old deputy prime minister, over rival Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 68.
That edge could still be overhauled as it was based on a count of about 10 percent of votes cast, provisional figures from the election commission indicated. Election officials had said turnout was more than 70 percent of the 14.3 million eligible voters but have not given a precise total.
The United States and Western donors have watched the vote closely, concerned about the stability of a nation seen as a regional ally in the fight against militant Islam and fretting about what to do if Kenyatta wins, as he faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to the violence five years ago.
For an outright victory, a candidate needs more than 50 percent of votes cast, otherwise the top two face a run-off, provisionally set for April. Odinga and Kenyatta ran neck-and-neck in polls before the race, well ahead of six other rivals.
"If elected, we will be able to discharge our duties," Kenyatta's running mate, William Ruto, who also faces charges of crimes against humanity, said during voting. "We shall cooperate with the court with a final intention of clearing our names."
At a press briefing after most polls had closed, Ruto said the vote had been "free, fair and credible", and welcomed the early lead by Kenyatta. Odinga's camp declined to comment.
Two leaders announce they will form new government
The attack targeted a meeting of ISIL leaders in the eastern Deir Ez Zour province
Official results of Iraq’s parliamentary election have been dogged by controversy and allegations of vote-rigging
Threat comes after EU announced 25 percent tariff on US products
Armed terrorists ‘neutralized’ in northern Iraqi region of Gara
Palestinians have been holding mass rallies near Gaza-Israel security fence since March 30
Police report states driver of car that killed pedestrian in Arizona was streaming television show
Decision follows Trump's pledge to end “war games” during Singapore summit
Conservative bill was widely expected to fail in the chamber
Washington urges Moscow to reign in ally amid offensive in de-escalation zone
‘Koko touched lives of millions as an icon for interspecies communication and empathy’, Gorilla Foundation says
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says they will look into strengthening transatlantic bond in summit next month
Administration to no longer require immediate legal proceedings for undocumented adults who cross illegally with children
Trump administration makes request following backlash over its immigration policy